Vladimir Putin and Zhang Gaoli discussed trade, economic and energy cooperation between the two countries.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends and colleagues, I am very glad to see you at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
I know that you did not come here just to stroll around St Petersburg, see this beautiful city’s sights and the exhibition; you came here to work, and your objectives are truly unprecedented in scale.
Above all, this applies to energy. You are about to sign a major contract with Rosneft, an unprecedented contract without any exaggeration: oil exports to China are expected to reach hundreds of millions of tonnes. In dollars that amounts to over $60 billion.
In the gas sector, we expect a great deal from the cooperation between our Chinese friends and such companies as Gazprom and NOVATEK. You have large-scale, long-term projects designed for decades ahead.
I know how much attention the Chinese leadership and President Xi Jinping pay to the development of cooperation between Russia and China in high-tech sectors. I am sure that we have excellent prospects in this area.
We are very pleased to see our Chinese friends in St Petersburg. Please pass on our best wishes to President Xi Jinping.
First Vice Premier of the State Council of Chine Zhang Gaoli (re-translated): Mr President,
Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with us despite your very busy schedule. I also would like to express our gratitude for your assistance following the earthquake in Sichuan.
I came here on behalf of President Xi Jinping to attend the St Petersburg Economic Forum. Another purpose of my visit is to continue discussions with our Russian partners on stepping up cooperation in the energy sphere.
Mr President, let me once again convey to you President Xi Jinping’s warm greetings and best wishes. On behalf of the Chinese Government, I would also like to warmly congratulate you on the successful opening of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
I last visited Russia, including St Petersburg, over ten years ago, and when I arrived yesterday I saw a completely different city. This shows that tremendous changes have taken place in Russia and St Petersburg under your leadership.
The global economy is currently experiencing a variety of complicated problems and changes, and the recovery process has been very arduous. In this context, I think the main theme of this year’s forum was very well chosen: strengthening global economic growth.
This forum is a very important venue for participants from all over the world to discuss sustainable economic growth and the prospects for the world economy, as well as to strengthen cooperation between Russia and other countries. I am confident that the forum will yield great results and will be a complete success.
After taking office, President of China Xi Jinping chose Russia as a destination of his first international visit. During that visit, he had a successful meeting with you. A meeting between national leaders has great importance for raising the Chinese-Russian relations and the comprehensive strategic cooperation and partnership to a new level.
I oversee economic issues in the Government at present, as well as our multifaceted cooperation with Russia. I consider it my duty to implement the agreements and decisions signed by you and President Xi Jinping.
This afternoon I had highly productive talks with First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. After that I had a very substantive conversation with my good friend Mr Igor Sechin [Rosneft CEO and Chairman of the Management Board].