China Could Eclipse Europe as Russia’s Key Trade Partner – Russian Diplomat

MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s trade turnover with China could potentially surpass that with the European Union, said Alexander Lukin, Vice-Rector at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy.

“[Russia’s] trade turnover with China is on the rise and is now considered to be just as important. The more sanctions Europe will impose, the closer Russia will move to Asia, in particular to China,” Lukin said.

In 2011, bilateral trade between the two neighbors reached a record high of $80 billion.

The only impediment to further growth is Russia’s poor investment climate, says Sergei Uyanayev, co-chair of the Russia-China Center at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Far Eastern Studies.

“Today China is the world’s second or third biggest investor and its investment potential in the Russian economy is fairly large. But to trigger the investment process, Russia needs to meet [China] halfway and create a better investment climate,” Uyanayev told RIA Novosti.

Russian President Vladimir Putin assured China’s leading media companies on Monday that the two nations had worked out every possible issue that could have hampered further strengthening of bilateral ties.

Speaking ahead of his May 20-21 visit to China, Putin stressed that the positions of the two countries on many international and regional issues coincide and praised the mutual desire to further enhance the partnership.

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