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Russian, Chinese top diplomats to discuss preparation for Putin’s visit

April 05, 2018, 8:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to Vladimir Putin, the relations between Russia and China are at an unprecedentedly high level

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MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi will hold negotiations in Moscow on Thursday to discuss preparation for a visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to China and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Wang Yi’s visit to Russia had been initially scheduled for March 27-28. However, the visit was delayed due to changes in the Russian administration’s schedule in the wake of the deadly fire in the Siberian city of Kemerovo.

Strategic partnership

According to Vladimir Putin, the relations between Russia and China are at an unprecedentedly high level and are characterized by strategic partnership.

The Russian president’s visit to China is expected to give impetus to the further development of close relations.

Putin plans to pay a state visit to China in conjunction with the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Heads of State Council in Qingdao on June 9-10.

"The key focus [at talks] will be made on the major political event in bilateral relations this year - the state visit of the Russian president to China," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on occasion of the upcoming visit.

Proposals on Korean Peninsula

The situation on the Korean Peninsula will be among other important issues at the talks between the two ministers. The contacts at the highest and ministerial levels confirm that this issue is vital.

On March 25-28, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un paid a visit to China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. On April 9-11, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho visited Russia for talks with Lavrov. On April 27, a meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is scheduled, and later Kim Jong-un may meet with US President Donald Trump.

At the talks in Moscow, Lavrov and Wang Yi will be able to synchronize watches ahead of this active effort. The plan on detente on the Korean Peninsula may be based on a joint initiative of Moscow and Beijing for a "double freeze" - simultaneously halting North Korea’s nuclear tests and military drills conducted by South Korea jointly with the United States. Lavrov noted that this proposal was in high demand during the contacts on the international arena.

Anti-terror fight in Syria and Afghanistan

The ministers also plan to hash over a range of other international issues, including the Syrian settlement and the situation in Afghanistan. "Russia and China have close or coinciding positions on most international issues and plan to further closely coordinate their foreign policy steps," the Foreign Ministry said.

Both Russia and China say that the key goals in Syria are the fight against terrorism, preventing the return of foreign militants from the Middle East and post-war restoration of Syria. Chinese Special Envoy for Syria Xie Xiaoyan outlined these tasks during the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi in late January.

The goals of fighting against terrorism and launching nationwide dialogue for achieving political settlement are also vital for Afghanistan. For Russia and China solving these tasks is crucial given Afghanistan’s geographical proximity to both countries.

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