Putin, Xi meet on sidelines of BRICS Summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to Ufa on 8 July 2015 [PPIO]

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to Ufa on 8 July 2015 [PPIO]

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday held bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Ufa on the sidelines of the 7th BRICS Summit.

“The two presidents exchanged views on priority matters in bilateral relations, cooperation within the BRICS group and the SCO, and current international issues,” said a Kremlin statement.

“I will not hide that it is especially pleasant to see our friends from China, taking into consideration the great amount of our humanitarian and political contacts and the growing volume of trade and economic ties,” Putin told the Chinese delegation headed by Xi.

“We are well aware of difficulties that we have to face both in economy and international politics, but combining efforts, no doubt we will overcome all the problems before us and solve all the problems and tasks before us,” Putin added.

Earlier on Tuesday, BRICS Central Bank governors signed an operating agreement on a $100 billion pool of foreign-exchange reserves to help each other weather financial squeezes.

The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) will be operational by 30 July, Russian Central Bank officials said. Russia will commit $18 billion to the BRICS fund.

Putin had said last month that Moscow and Beijing are working on plans for docking China’s ambitious Silk Road project and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union.

The two leaders on Wednesday in Ufa  “discussed concrete projects designed to implement that agreement” Gui Congyou, director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s European-Central Asian Affairs, said at a press briefing following the meet.

Xi, who called the Russian President “my old friend”, also referred to joint Sino-Russian celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

“Our participation together in the events celebrating the 70th anniversary of Victory had broad resonance and sent a challenge to the entire world to celebrate this event,” he said.

“I am looking forward to seeing you in September in China to take part in celebrating the 70th anniversary of victory in our war against the Japanese invaders and the victory in the war against fascism,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jose Rubens de la Rosa, the head of the Brazilian unit of the BRICS Business Council, said Russia and China may become the biggest participants in a proposed Brazil-Chile transport corridor.

Putin will host Xi and other BRICS leaders at an informal dinner later Wednesday evening.

The five leaders will meet for the annual Summit on Thursday.

The bloc had announced a $100 billion development bank and a currency reserve pool last year in their first concrete step toward reshaping the Western-dominated international financial system.



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