09:44 GMT +325 September 2018
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    Russia, China find common ground on UN reform, separatism

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    MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - China has become the first permanent UN Security Council member to state its support for Russia in its attempts to reform the organization, Gazeta, a daily, reported Monday.

    After Kremlin talks last Friday, Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Hu Jintao signed a joint declaration on the international order in the 21st century and proclaimed support for each other on such vital issues as Taiwan and Chechnya.

    The United States disagrees with the Russian-Chinese approach, believing the UN should become a kind of interest club without the power to make decisions of principle. Congress has floated such ideas, and a few congressmen have suggested that U.S. should slash its dues to the UN.

    Putin preferred to steer away from the Taiwan-Chechnya issue in public, and focused on economic matters instead. Anatoly Chubais, the chief executive of Russian energy giant United Energy Systems of Russia (UES), and his Chinese counterpart from the State Grid Corporation of China signed a long-term cooperation agreement in the presence of the two presidents.

    China has been proactive lately in gaining access to energy and raw material resources, for which it is ready to pay more than many Western investors. Several years ago, the Chinese tried to bid for 75% of the stock in a Russian oil major, Slavneft, at a privatization auction, but Russia decided the deal might jeopardize its energy security, the paper wrote.

    Last Friday, Rosneft and Sinopec, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint surveying of the Veninsky hydrocarbon block as part of the Sakhalin 3 oil and gas project. Its reserves are comparable to another major offshore project in the Russian Far East, Sakhalin 1.

    According to Sergei Bogdanchikov, the president of state-run oil giant Rosneft, about $5 billion is needed to pursue such programs.

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