President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues and friends,
My friend, Mr Xi Jinping, and I have just had a constructive discussion of the main issues on our bilateral agenda, going over all the different areas, and have examined international issues too.
Now, at this expanded-format meeting, we will discuss in detail the situation and prospects for developing our cooperation in various specific areas.
I ask Mr Xi to make a few opening remarks, and then we will give the floor to our colleagues.
President of The People’S Republic of China Xi Jinping (re-translated): Mr President,
Once again, I thank you very much for your invitation and for the warm reception we have been given.
Russia is the first country I am visiting as President of China, and you are the first foreign head of state with whom I am meeting in this capacity. This clearly demonstrates the high level and special nature of our bilateral relations.
Today’s meeting is an important link in this respect and I am sure that it will do much to continue our relations’ stable and healthy development.
Over these last 20 years, we have gone from freeing our ties from Cold-War stereotypes and establishing a new kind of relationship between our two leading countries in the 1990s, to gradually forming a new comprehensive strategic partnership over the first decade of this century.
We now have solid and mature political relations between our countries. Today, our ties have entered a new stage. Our countries offer each other important development opportunities and are key cooperation partners.
The next stage in developing our comprehensive strategic partnership and cooperation should focus on further strengthening our reciprocal political support, decisively supporting each other’s efforts to protect state sovereignty, security and development interests, doing all we can to build up our practical cooperation, turning the advantages our high level of political relations gives us into real practical cooperation results, and bolstering our coordination on resolving international and regional issues so as to guarantee our common strategic security.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you. I agree fully with the President of China’s assessment of our relations.
To keep up the pace we have gathered over these last years, we must concentrate our efforts on the most important areas, one of which is developing our economic ties – an area of direct interest to our peoples and their needs.
Our bilateral trade is now close to $90 billion and continues to grow. I want to give the floor now to the Economic Development Minister, Mr Belousov, to begin the discussion, and then will ask Mr Xi to give the floor to his Chinese colleague.