CHINA / National

Putin confident of energy co-op with China
Updated: 2006-03-22 18:46

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Beijing Wednesday that Russia will step up energy cooperation with China and increase oil and gas supplies to its neighbor.

 Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing prior to holding official talks March 21, 2006. [newsphoto]

China and Russia on Tuesday inked three deals on oil and natural gas cooperation, including a summary of negotiations between the China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) and Transneft, a pipeline transport company of Russia.

"Transneft and the CNPC are having a feasibility study on laying branch oil pipeline to China. If the project could be implemented, which I have no doubt about, will help improve (Russia's) oil supply to China," said Putin Wednesday.

Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday morning attended the opening ceremony of a high-level Sino-Russian economic forum, which was seen as an opportunity for the two countries to discuss detailed trade issues.

"In 2005, Russia has exported to China more than eight million tons of crude oil and become China's fifth largest energy supplier," said Putin.

Putin, who is to wrap up his two-day state visit to China Wednesday, also highlighted the potential cooperation in gas pipeline network. "We are studying different routes of gas pipeline -- one is from western Siberia and another from eastern Siberia," Putin told about 800 participants at the forum.

The Russia president hoped the two countries could further cement trade ties in the context of fast-growing trade cooperation, prompting the two countries to expand cooperation in the areas of high-tech, environmental protection, aviation, machinery, transportation, finance, education and service.

The trade volume between China and Russia has been increasing fast in recent years. In 2005, the trade volume reached 29.1 billion U.S. dollars, up 37.1 percent year on year.


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