Vice Premier of China Zhang Gaoli (retranslated): President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang asked me to pass on their warmest greetings and best wishes.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Please pass on my greetings to President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. I am very pleased that you have come. We are launching this big project that was so long in discussion.
Zhang Gaoli: This is to the great credit of our countries’ two leaders.
Vladimir Putin: If President Xi Jinping had not become involved in this matter personally, I think we would not be standing here today. But I know that you are not just the Vice Premier and a member of China’s Politburo. You are an energy sector professional too, and much depends on professionals like you. We are very happy that it is you who has come here today.
Zhang Gaoli: Last year, we held talks in St Petersburg and they made a deep impression on me. Many of your proposals on expanding cooperation have already become reality. We had very good and productive talks with [Deputy Prime Minister] Arkady Dvorkovich, [Gazprom CEO] Alexei Miller, and [Rosneft CEO] Igor Sechin.
I want to make it clear that China categorically opposes the sanctions the United States and Western countries have taken against Russia. China categorically opposes colour revolutions and attempts to hold back Russia’s development. I already said to Mr Miller and Mr Sechin that we will do all within our power. Our cooperation is expanding substantially now, and this includes in trade in agricultural produce too.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
Zhang Gaoli: President Xi Jinping is looking forward to seeing you again in Dushanbe.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you. Please pass on my best wishes. I am also looking forward to this meeting. We have plenty to discuss.
As for restrictions on trade and economic activity, they ultimately cause losses for those who carry out such a policy. I hope that common sense will prevail and that we will return to normal trade. But this depends to a great extent on professionals such as yourself in China, in Russiaand in our partners’ countries.
Zhang Gaoli: We are developing our energy cooperation together with Mr Miller and Mr Sechin, in the oil and gas sectors, developing the eastern route. We are working together very comprehensively.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Sechin said he has proposed that you become a shareholder in one of our biggest oil production companies in the north of Russia. The state authorities support this idea and we would welcome your participation.
Zhang Gaoli: Our strategic cooperation is long-term, stable and sustainable. We can withstand any tests that come our way.
Vladimir Putin: And so our cooperation will continue. Vankor is one of the biggest production operations today and very promising. Overall, we take a cautious approach to letting in our foreign partners, but we of course set no restrictions for our Chinese friends.
Zhang Gaoli: I can assure you that China is a reliable partner. You have everything under your control now. You can be confident about your health too, for you are looking very well indeed.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.