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Russian, Chinese leaders to issue joint statement on 20th anniversary of friendship treaty

It will reflect "the extra quality given to our relations over these 20 years", said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Russian and Chinese leaders, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, will issue a joint statement on the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good- Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation between the two nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Chinese mass media.

"Bearing in mind that on July 16 we will mark the Treaty’s 20th anniversary, we are working on a special document - a joint statement by the leaders dedicated to this anniversary. It will reflect the extra quality given to our relations over these 20 years," he said.

According to the Russian top diplomat, the Russian-Chinese relations have reached "an unprecedented level" thanks, to a larger extent, to this treaty, which was signed by Putin and China’s then President Jiang Zemin in 2001. He stressed that both the countries’ leaders and peoples characterize the current relations between Russia and China "as the best ever over the entire history of bilateral relations." "I think it is an absolutely right and fair assessment," he said.

"No doubt, it is a historic document. It laid the political and legal foundation for relations of the new type between our countries - relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation. Relations that are enteric a new era," the Russian minister emphasized.