MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. Moscow supports Mongolia’s initiative to build oil and gas pipelines from Russia to China via Mongolia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga, held in the Chinese city of Qingdao, the Kremlin press service reported.
"There are opportunities for cooperation in the energy industry," Putin pointed out. "Our Mongolian partners have come up with an initiative to build major oil and gas pipelines from Russia to China. In general, we support [this initiative], it is a good idea. However, there is a need to conduct a thorough feasibility study, as always in such cases," the Russian president added.
He also said that the three countries had been working together to remove excessive administrative barriers in order to ensure uninterrupted trade flows. "To achieve this goal, [there is a need] to ensure the full implementation of the 2016 agreement on mutual recognition of customs control. Introducing an electronic data interchange system in accordance with the agreement has significantly eased the border crossing process and goods clearance," Putin added.
The Russian president also commended close inter-regional ties and cross-border cooperation between the three countries. "We believe it important to step up efforts aimed at boosting trilateral cooperation in the area of tourism. In this regard, I would like to mention the Tea Way cross-border tourist route that could connect the regions of Russia, China and Mongolia," Putin said.
He also highlighted the importance of developing cross-border environmental protection programs aimed at preserving unique flora and fauna and develop protected nature areas. "Russia suggests considering the possibility to boost trilateral cooperation between public, scientific, cultural and educational organizations, as well as interaction between parliament members and political parties," Putin added.
The Russian leader noted that Moscow also supported the idea of holding the next trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Kyrgyzstan in June 2019.
Road transport agreement
Russia expects that China and Mongolia will ratify a trilateral intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the road transportation sphere in near future, according to Putin.
"The trilateral intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the motor transportation area was signed in 2016. Russia ratified this agreement already last year. We hope our friends will implement this procedure shortly," Putin said.
The container traffic along the route of China - Mongolia - Russia to European countries rose 2.7-fold last year and almost fourfold in the first quarter of this year, Putin said when speaking about the trilateral cooperation in the transport infrastructure sphere.
"An upgrade of the Russian-Mongolian Ulan-Bator Railway and adjacent segments is planned. A development program for this railway until 2030 is under preparation and the first stage provides for investments amounting to $260 mln during the period of 2018-2020," the Russian President added.
Putin noted an increase in growth of container traffic via China, Mongolia and Russia.
"Our states are boosting interaction in development of the modern transport infrastructure," Putin said. "Container traffic along the route of China - Mongolia - Russia to European countries rose 2.7-fold and already almost fourfold in the first quarter of this year," the head of state said. Plans are also in place to upgrade the Russian-Mongolian Ulan-Bator Railway and adjacent areas.