Ties with China will strengthen despite Western pressure, says Russian weapons chief

Russian deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin (third from the left) and vice chairman of China’s State Council Wang Yang (front row on the left) visit the Innoprom-2016 expo in Yekaterinburg, Russia. © Sergey Mamontov
Economic cooperation between Russia and China will develop regardless of Western pressure of Moscow, Deputy PM in charge of the defense industry Dmitry Rogozin says, adding noted that it was wrong to view sanctions as the main reason for this.

The People’s Republic of China is developing very rapidly today. In many spheres it has reached the level of development that is very interesting to Russia. We are building a mutually-beneficial technological and industrial cooperation between our countries,” Rogozin said after the Wednesday meeting with Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

READ MORE: Russia, China approve business initiatives worth $50bn during Putin visit

Rogozin noted that the relations with China would have been even more active if not for the West’s “restrictive measures” against the Russian Federation. At the same time he emphasized that the sanctions were neither a hindrance nor the reason behind this cooperation.

These relations are here to stay, they are caused by vital needs of our nations,” he said.

Last month Russian President Vladimir Putin visited China on a state visit, holding talks with President Xi Jinping and signing a number of major deals in various economic spheres. Among them were agreements on selling of stakes in several Russian projects to Chinese companies, an oil supply contract, under which Russia could deliver up to 2.4 million tons of crude oil to ChemChina and an intergovernmental agreement concerning a large-scale aircraft construction project.

Putin also welcomed cooperation in the framework of the so-called Silk Road Economic Belt project, which the two leaders agreed to in May. The aim of the project launched in 2013 is to create transport, energy and a trade corridor between Asian and European countries.

The nations also agreed to expand mutual payments in national currencies, to decrease dependency on external factors, Putin told reporters.

READ MORE: ‘Our views are either similar or coincide’: Putin on comprehensive strategic China-Russia alliance

During a press conference in Beijing, Putin said that the Russian-Chinese commission on investment cooperation had selected nearly 58 business initiatives worth about $50 billion to be put in the works and added that 12 of these projects were already being implemented.

Putin also told reporters that though Russia-China bilateral relations mostly concerned economic cooperation, the two countries also worked together in other spheres, such as international affairs. He noted that such joint efforts "contribute to the stability of world affairs," where Russian and Chinese views "are either very similar or coincide."