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RUSSIA STRENGTHENS RELATIONS WITH CHINA - EX-PREMIER

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MOSCOW, May 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is seeking stronger ties with its Chinese neighbor, with an accent on the political means of ensuring China's territorial integrity. The ratification by the State Duma (lower house) and the Federation Council (upper house) of the agreement on the Russian-Chinese border was therefore a significant event, former premier Yevgeny Primakov said.

Primakov, an academic and the chairman of the Russian-Chinese Committee for Friendship, Peace and Development, says the new world could either develop toward a multi-polar world or toward a uni-polar world, with the United States setting the standard for the international community, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, a pro-governmental daily, reported.

China's rapid economic growth and Russia's certain economic consolidation, as well as the stronger statehood of these two nations provide crucial support for the multi-polar option.

Economic cooperation has also seen some definite achievements. It will be even more impressive if projects like the new hydropower and thermo-power stations are completed in Russia's Far East with subsequent export of electric power to China, and when the Russian-Chinese oil pipeline is commissioned.

Russia-China rapprochement is particularly essential in view of some negative issues on the international scene. The latter include the United States' declared course towards "exporting" democracy to countries where it deems it is lacking. Washington's statements about its plans to support some Islamic movements are no less alarming. The United States' contacts with its "Muslim brothers," seeking to change power by non-constitutional methods in Egypt, Syria and other countries testifies that such re-orientation could aggravate the situation in some countries close to the Russian and Chinese borders. Therefore, the two countries' consultations and their shared position in favor of stable regional and global situations are becoming more and more important.

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