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    Putin to Visit China Next Week for Trade, Energy Deals – Kremlin

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to arrive in China on an official visit May 20 to cement economic ties with Beijing, including on energy, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to arrive in China on an official visit May 20 to cement economic ties with Beijing, including on energy, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

    “During the upcoming talks between the leaders in Shanghai the sides are due to discuss a range of bilateral issues. A number of important documents in the trade and economic, energy and humanitarian spheres are being drafted in the framework of the visit,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

    The parties will also discuss the prospects of the Russian-Chinese cooperation on the international arena.

    “The visit is expected to inaugurate the new stage of comprehensive and strategic partnership in bilateral relations," the statement said.

    Putin is due to attend the 4th Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit in Shanghai on May 21, which aims at enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.

    The Russian leader is to hold a number of bilateral meetings with the participants of the summit.

    Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky said Monday a contract on Russian gas deliveries to China was nearing completion and the finishing touches could be added ahead of Putin’s upcoming visit to China.

    In early March, Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said the Russian energy giant hoped to sign in May a 30-year agreement with China to supply it with an annual 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

    The tentative agreement between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation has been overseen by Putin and Chinese premier Xi Jinping, but its completion has been delayed over pricing disagreements.

    Export volumes are expected to eventually rise to 60 billion cubic meters per year.

    Beijing has been cementing its business ties with Moscow amid strained relations between Russia and the EU, which along with the US recently imposed sanctions against Russian officials and companies in response to the reunification with the formerly Ukrainian republic of Crimea.

    In the interview with the China Daily newspaper, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who visited Beijing last month, said Russia and China seek to create a “more democratic” multi-polar world, with the United Nations and international laws playing the central role in the new balance of power.

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