Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday arrived for a working visit to China. On the first day of his stay in that country, delegations of the two countries managed to square the oil pricing formula although they failed to reach understanding on gas-related issues.
Opening the talks, Putin noted that the two countries have absolutely no problems in such areas as politics and the humanities, the Novye Izvestia newspaper writes. Approaches differ on pragmatic issues. “The one who buys always wants to buy at a lower price, while the one who sells always wants to sell at a higher price,” the Russian prime minister said. “But we have always managed to reach a compromise.” This was a reference, according to the newspaper, to many-years’ negotiations on the project of gas supplies from Russia to China.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin explained the situation. In his words, the sides have reached little progress in what concerns the gas price and the talks are to be continued. It is yet unclear when the gas contract is to be signed, but considerable progress has been reached in settling oil-related problems. Sechin, however, sounded very cautious. In his words, an agreement has been reached that will make it possible to remove the sides’ claims. The stumbling block in the talks was the oil transit price via the Russian territory. China claimed the tariff was too high and refused to pay it, which resulted in a big debt. According to Sechin, all the problems, including that of China’s debts, have been settled. Although he did not elaborate how it was done.
Vladimir Putin comes back to the Kremlin to further strengthen the governance system in Russia, writes RBC daily. The statement was voiced in China, the first country Putin visited in an informal status of candidate for presidency. And demonstrated the West, “without any malicious joy,” that Russia has a mighty partners in the East, with whom it can change the world.
Speaking to journalists after the talks, the Russian head of government stressed that the talks had been a real success, the sides had managed to discuss practically everything, writes the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily. “The talks have once again confirmed that our relations have strategic natures,” the prime minister summed up. In 2008, trade turnover between the two countries did not exceed 56 billion U.S. dollars, Putin noted, and in 2011 the countries plan to reach at least 70 billion U.S. dollars, and maybe even 80 billion.