Russia, China to ink 20 deals worth $7 bn: official
Russia and China plan to sign some 20 business agreements worth $7 billion when Vladimir Putin visits Beijing this week in his first trip abroad since his Kremlin comeback announcement, an official said Monday.
"The package of corporate agreements is more than substantial," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov, who co-chairs the Russian-Chinese Intergovernmental Comission, told the Kommersant daily.
The package includes a $4-billion financial deal, four investment projects with a price tag of $90 million, five projects in the sphere of trade worth $2.55 billion and 10 agreements in "technical economic cooperation" worth $380 million, Zhukov said.
"A number of projects concern the development and production of machinery, including those necessary to modernise the primary industries of the Russian economy, extraction of natural resources and well as cooperation in such promising fields like energy efficiency, the use of renewable sources of energy and bio-energy," he added.
Zhukov did not mention the two countries' efforts to hammer out a firm energy deal that could eventually see almost 70 billion cubic metres of Russian gas sent to China annually for the next 30 years.
A firm gas contract has so far proved elusive as talks have become mired in pricing disagreements.
Zhukov added that Russian and Chinese officials would also sign a memorandum on cooperation in modernisation.
"This is an answer to the Partnership for Modernisation programme that we have with the EU," Kommersant quoted a foreign ministry source as saying. "The Chinese have long offered to create a similar programme."
Accompanied by a 160-member delegation including top tycoons, Putin will visit Beijing on October 11-12 for talks with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao.
The trip follows last month's announcement that he plans to reclaim the presidency in a bid that may keep him in power until 2024.
© 2011 AFP