Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Putin’s China visit may seal landmark gas agreement

Russian President Vladimir Putin will next week travel to China for a visit expected to see Moscow and Beijing seal a landmark gas agreement, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

During the May 20 visit to Shanghai, Putin will oversee the signing of a number of "important agreements" in trade and energy, the Kremlin said without providing further details.

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said last month that Russia and China planned to wrap up a decade of talks on supply of Russian natural gas before Putin's China visit.

While Putin visits Beijing, China and Russia will hold a joint naval drill in the northern part of the East China Sea between May 20 and 26, a spokesman for the Chinese navy announced on Tuesday.

Liang Yang told a press conference that the "Joint Sea 2014" drill will focus on defense and attack, escorts, search and rescue and the freeing of hijacked ships.

Liang revealed that the two sides will dispatch a total of 14 vessels, two submarines, nine fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and special forces for the exercise.

According to the spokesman, the event is a key measure for China and Russia to strengthen mutual political trust and for the two armies to deepen cooperation.

The drill aims to boost their capabilities to jointly cope with maritime security threats and will not target any third party, he added.

On May 21, Putin will take part in the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia scheduled to be held in Shanghai.


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