Speech at a meeting between the presidents of Russia, China and Mongolia
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Xi, President Battulga, friends,
I am happy to meet with you in this trilateral format to discuss a range of practical issues in our cooperation.
The principles and tasks of our trilateral cooperation are fixed in the roadmap approved in 2015 at our meeting in Ufa. The relevant agencies and ministries in our countries are implementing the programme for developing the Russia−Mongolia−China economic corridor signed in Tashkent in 2016. We identified priority projects in such areas as industrial production, investment and high-technology.
The Russia-Mongolia-China Joint Trade and Economic Forum took place last June in Ulaanbaatar. Dozens of our companies attended.
Our states are building cooperation in developing a modern transport infrastructure. As I said at the bilateral meeting before, last year, the volume of container traffic on the China−Mongolia−Russia route to Europe increased 2.7 times, and by almost four times in the first quarter of this year.
We plan to upgrade the Ulaanbaatar Russian−Mongolian railway and adjacent sections. We are developing an upgrade project for this railway through 2030. The first stage spanning 2018–2020 will receive $260 million in investment.
In 2016, we signed a trilateral intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in motor transportation. Russia ratified the agreement last year. We hope that our friends will do their part soon.
We are starting to work together to remove excessive administrative barriers to provide an uninterrupted flow of transit trade. To this end we have to ensure full implementation of the 2016 agreement on mutual recognition of the results of customs control inspections.
As Mr Chairman just said, the introduction of the electronic information exchange system envisaged by the agreement has already substantially expedited the process of customs clearance at the border.
We have good opportunities for interaction in energy. Our Mongolian partners have proposed oil and gas pipelines from Russia to China across their territory. Generally, we are supportive, this is a good idea. But of course, as always, thorough feasibility studies need to be carried out.
Close interregional links play a special role in the cooperation between our states. For several years now border cooperation forums have been held involving Russia’s Trans-Baikal Territory, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region in China and the border areas of Mongolia.
We believe it is important to step up the efforts to promote three-way cooperation in tourism. In this context I would like to mention the proposal to form a cross-border “Tea Road” that would link these regions in Russia, China and Mongolia.
The development of cross-border environmental programmes aimed at preserving the unique flora and fauna and developing protected territories is also important.
Russia has proposed options for stepping up tripartite cooperation among non-governmental, scientific, cultural and educational organisations as well as interaction among parliaments and political parties.
In conclusion I would like to note that we support the idea of holding the next tripartite meeting in June of 2019 during the SCO summit in Kyrgyzstan.