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17:27 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Russia, China sign deals worth $3.5 bln during Putin's visit

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Contracts worth $3.5 billion have been signed at a Russian-Chinese business forum, a Russian deputy prime minister said on Tuesday.

BEIJING, October 13 (RIA Novosti) - Contracts worth $3.5 billion have been signed at a Russian-Chinese business forum, a Russian deputy prime minister said on Tuesday.

The bilateral business forum coincided with a visit to China by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, later today.

Deputy premier Alexander Zhukov said the largest contracts were signed between Russia's national development bank, Vnesheconombank, (VEB), and the China Development Bank, and between Russia's second-largest bank VTB and the Agricultural Bank of China, each deal being worth $500 million.

Deals on construction, roads, railways and energy-saving enterprises were also signed.

Customs officials from Russia and China formed a working coordination group, whose major task will be "to improve customs clearing procedures to make Chinese imports to Russia transparent," Zhukov said.

On Wednesday Putin will attend a prime ministerial meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).