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Cooperation with China signals Russian ‘alternative to West’

May 21, 2014, 20:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“The summit in Shanghai has clearly demonstrated that Russian-Chinese relations are increasingly developing on a wide range of issues and problems,” the dean of Faculty of World Politics of MSU says
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Xi Jinping (L) and Vladimir Putin (R)

Xi Jinping (L) and Vladimir Putin (R)

© ITAR-TASS/Mihail Metsel

MOSCOW, May 21./ITAR-TASS/. Plans for Russian-Chinese cooperation, also in the gas sphere, is a clear signal to the West that Russia has a real alternative to it, said Andrey Kokoshin, the dean of the Faculty of World Politics of the Moscow State University and a former secretary of the Russian Federation Security Council.

“The summit in Shanghai has clearly demonstrated that the Russian-Chinese relations are increasingly developing on a wide range of issues and problems,” he said. “It is also clear that plans for large-scale cooperation on supplies of Russian natural gas and other energy resource to China can be regarded as an explicit signal to countries of the European Union and the United States that Russia has a real alternative to maintain its external economic links in this field.”

The academician noted that the agenda for the Russian-Chinese cooperation was far from being limited to gas issues. The two countries had mutual understanding not only in the economic sphere, but also in political and diplomatic, military strategic and humanitarian spheres.

Infographics Supplies of Russian natural gas to China Supplies of Russian natural gas to China
May 21, 2014, Gazprom and CNPC have signed a deal on gas supplies to China
“China and Russia agree on most challenges of the modern world, including the most acute political problems,” he said, referring to the Syrian conflict, the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula, the situation in the Middle East in general and the Ukrainian crisis.

Kokoshin said that a joint statement signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed “a number of very important positions on de-escalation of the crisis in Ukraine, enforcement of rights and freedoms of all citizens in that country and implementation of a constitutional reform in Ukraine.”

Gas contracts are very important indeed, but the issue is much broader, Kokoshin said.

“Energy partnership agreements are of great importance for the development of Russia’s Far East and Eastern Siberia,” he said, adding that under these agreements there were plans to develop transport infrastructure in these regions and to design projects for the construction of new electric generating plants in Russia to increase energy supplies to China.

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