ST. PETERSBURG, June 4. /TASS/. Russia and China managed to keep bilateral trade at a level of 100 billion US dollars in 2020, despite the pandemic, and may reach a level of 200 billion US dollars by 2024, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
"One of the key areas is economic cooperation. Several years ago, we with China’s President Xi Jinping set a task of reaching a 100 billion level in our trade," he said at a meeting with CEOs of global news agencies organized by TASS. "We have reached this level. Moreover, we managed to maintain it in the difficult conditions of the pandemic 2020 year. We did have a slight decline in trade but nevertheless it reached 104 billion [US dollars]."
"I think that despite this slight decline we will be able to attain the level of 200 billion [US dollars] within the next few years, by 2024, as we agreed," he said.
Putin stressed that Russia and China had a lot of coinciding interests and bilateral relations were based on that. Moscow and Beijing, in his words, cooperate in various spheres, focusing of high technology areas and nuclear power engineering. "We continue to work together in the aircraft building sector. We pay more and more attention to the development of our cooperation in outer space, including on a lunar program. We have very promising perspectives in this sphere," he noted.
"I think that our cooperation in environment protection and in the humanitarian sphere is no less important. Year after year, we organize various forums as part of cross years in different spheres. It brings people closer together. And we develop infrastructure to support that. Not long ago, a bridge crossing was opened at one of the most important sections of the Russian-Chinese border," he went on to say.
The Russian president stressed that China’s One Belt One Road initiative was being linked with what was being done within the Eurasian Economic Union. "I have never doubted for a minute that we will continue to cooperate actively. I mean both Russia’s and China’s interest in maintaining our cooperation on the international arena and this cooperation is obviously a major element of stability in international affairs," Putin added.