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    RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: CURRENT RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND CHINA ARE THE BEST IN THEIR HISTORY

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    MOSCOW, January 28, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov stated in his article "Russia in Asia and Asia in Russia", published on the Russian Foreign Ministry's site on Wednesday, that relations of Russia with its largest neighbour, China, "are of importance of principle to the Russian interests." Ivanov characterized Russian-Chinese relations at the current stage "as the best in their history as a whole".

    He called relaxation of military tension along the borders between Russia and China and confidence in the military sphere the most important achievement of recent time in bilateral relations.

    In Igor Ivanov's opinion, mutual trust between the two states, evidence of which are the repeated meetings of the leaders of Russia and China, has grown stronger than ever before.

    The Russian Minister also noted that interaction between Russia and China on the international arena has become broad and active. "We and the PRC have coinciding or proximate positions on, in effect, all pressing questions of the international situation," Ivanov stressed.

    According to him, the principal problems in relations between the two countries are linked mainly with the rapid growth of bilateral cooperation. First of all it concerns the migration processes. In this connection Ivanov pointed to the importance of the recently formed respective joint working group.

    Igor Ivanov said that work is under way to further mutually broaden the network of the consular institutions of Russia and China, which also makes for rapid settlement of emerging issues.

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