MOSCOW, March 18 (RIA Novosti) – China’s new president, Xi Jinping, will discuss energy partnership during his March 22-24 visit to Russia, his first overseas trip as leader of the world’s most populous country, the Kremlin said on Monday.
The Chinese president will meet with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on March 23. The talks will focus on trade and economic cooperation, investment and “fulfilling major energy projects,” the government’s press service said.
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich previously said Russia and China were likely to reach framework agreements on gas supplies by late March.
Talks over what would be a massive energy deal between Russia and energy-hungry China have been going on since the two sides signed a framework agreement in 2009.
Under the deal, Gazprom would deliver up to 68 billion cubic meters of gas to China annually for 30 years, but the price of the gas supplied has been a major stumbling block preventing both sides from signing a final agreement.
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping was elected Chinese president at a session of the 12th National People’s Congress last week.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said earlier this month China hopes to use the visit to Russia to “inject new and strong impetus to the growth of the comprehensive strategic partnership” with Russia.
China’s new leader is also expected to visit Tanzania and the Republic of Congo and attend the fifth leaders’ summit of BRICS countries, which will be held in Durban, South Africa, on March 26-27.