19:40 GMT +319 June 2018
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    We Agreed on Fostering Greater Economic Partnership With China – Putin

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a press conference following the 18th Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Qingdao, China.

    At the SCO summit, Moscow and Beijing again expressed their hopes for a high level of bilateral cooperation, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters at a follow-up press conference, emphasizing the importance of such a stance.

    "We have reiterated the very high level of our relations with China. We have agreed, and we have signed [with China] a declaration on further cooperation in the political domain, and in the fight with various threats. This reiteration [of cooperation] is very important," Putin said regarding the results of his visit to China.

    The Russian president noted that in the economic area, Chinese-Russian bilateral trade saw significant growth in the first quarter of 2018.

    "I am sure that if such level of development in this area is maintained, our bilateral trade could reach $100 billion this year," Putin suggested.

    READ MORE: Fight Against Terrorism Remains Priority for Cooperation Within SCO — Putin

    The combined purchasing power of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is greater than that of the G7, Putin said.

    "The very fact that we confirm the high level of our interaction and talk about the need for its development, in my opinion, is of great importance, for contemporary international relations, for Russian-Chinese relations," he said.

    Answering questions about the G7, the Russian President stated that Russia hadn't ever left it and will be glad to see everyone in Moscow. 

    "As for the return of Russia to the Group of Seven, the Group of Eight, we have not left it. Back in the day, our colleagues refused to come to Russia for well-known reasons. Please, we'll be happy to see everyone there, in Moscow," Putin stated.

    Speaking about the Skripal case, discussed at G7 summit, Putin noted, that "nothing new" was said on the matter, stressing that "it is necessary to stop chatter and move on to cooperation."

    New Round of Arms Race

    The Russian President stated that US leader Donald Trump in their latest conversation expressed concern about a new round of the arms race.

    "The president of the United States himself has repeatedly said that he considered such a meeting appropriate, and I confirm that this is indeed the case. I can reiterate that in our last telephone conversation he expressed his concern about the threat of a new round of the arms race. I do agree with him. In order for this to be discussed in detail, it is necessary that our foreign ministries, the experts work very closely with each other, and, of course, personal meetings are necessary," Putin said at a press conference on the results of his visit to China.

    READ MORE: First Day of Putin's Visit to China Yields Numerous Agreements

    Putin stressed that he is ready to meet Trump 'as soon as' Washington is ready, adding that there were "no precise talks on a place for the meeting."

    "As soon as the American side is ready this meeting would take place depending on my working schedule of course. But there are a lot of countries which are willing to assist us in this. There are some European countries, including Austria, among them… In general, I believe it is a technical issue. It is important that these meetings if they take place… are filled with specific content," Putin told reporters.

    Additional Regulation of Vehicles Deliveries to US May Hurt EU Interests

    The introduction of additional regulation of deliveries of vehicles to the United States might affect the interests of many countries, in particular, of the European states, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

    "As far as I know, the US president has stated that the United States is considering the possibility of additional regulation of deliveries of the automotive vehicles to the US market. It is a serious issue, this might really hurt the economic interests of many countries, first of all, of course, of the European ones.. It has a significant importance for the entire world's economy," Putin noted.

    In late May, US President Donald Trump said that he had instructed the responsible bodies to study the possibility of imposition of new tariffs on automobile imports in the same manner as he did with respect to aluminum and steel duties.

    1st Serious Step Towards Establishing Eurasian Economic Partnership Made

    Commenting on the results on the SCO summit, Putin noted the importance of the signed feasibility study for a broad Eurasian economic partnership.

    "It will take some time before the signing of the agreement itself, this should be done properly, but this is the first very serious step towards organizing a serious regional economic union," Putin said, adding that "This is certainly compatible with both the Eurasian Economic Union and with the Chinese Silk Road initiative in its economic dimension. I think this is a very important step in building our relations." 

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