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    Russia, China determined to increase bilateral trade

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    MOSCOW, July 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and China can soon substantially increase bilateral trade, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said Saturday at his meeting with Chinese leader Hu Jintao."We highly assess the current level of trade and economic relations between Russia and China. I believe we will soon be able to increase bilateral trade considerably, as we agreed at the top level," said the Russian premier.

    According to Fradkov, the Russian government is set on practically achieving the identified goals in bilateral relations.

    Fradkov said all the available opportunities and mechanisms were used for the purpose within the regular meetings of Russian and Chinese government leaders.

    Fradkov expressed confidence that this visit by Hu Jintao to Moscow and his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin would "be a leap forward to partnership and strategic cooperation between our two countries."

    The Chinese leader also praised talks with the Russian president and the current level of bilateral relations.

    "Thanks to joint efforts, Russia-China relations receive a new impetus and bring satisfactory results," he said.

    The Chinese leader also spoke about raising bilateral trade to $60 billion by 2010. Jintao said Russia-China trade saw stable growth. In January-May 2005, it was $10 billion, after increasing by 29.7% year-on-year.

    Jintao also said Russia and China had established a mechanism of state consultations on security and ratified an additional agreement on the eastern section of the Russian-Chinese border.

    Bilateral investments are also on the rise. The sides recently signed agreements on joint investment projects worth a total of $1.5 billion, said Jintao.

    In particular, he said the Baltic Pearl project of St. Petersburg had the budget of $1.3 billion, which makes it the most ambitious investment project between Russia and China.

    The two countries cooperate in security issues, territorial integrity, and international affairs, said Jintao.

    He said regular meetings between the government leaders of the two countries were essential for practical cooperation.

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