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24 May, 2008 00:07

Russia & China sign nuclear deal

Russia and China have signed a billion dollar nuclear deal, in another sign of strengthening relations. Dmitry Medvedev is in Beijing as part of his first overseas trip as president. Russia and China have also used the visit to condemn U.S. plans for an a

The signed nuclear deal covers the construction of a uranium enrichment plant in China and the delivery of low-enriched uranium from Russia. Both activities are for peaceful purposes only.

“Since we produce enough enriched uranium to cover our needs, we haven’t been building integrated uranium enrichment plants for some time now. So, in terms of engineering, it will be interesting to build a modern one from scratch,” said Sergey Kirienko, Head of Russia’s Nuclear Energy Agency.

Tourism, aviation, banking, investment and trade deals were also announced.

“The aircraft technology and the nuclear industry in one way or another are coming to realisation on Chinese soil, and I welcome it. It will also help us develop new technologies,” said Viktor Khristenko, Russia’s Energy and Trade Minister.

Medvedev has met China’s President Hu Jintao and other senior officials.

His visit comes as some Chinese regions recover from a powerful earthquake, which rocked the country earlier this month and killed more than 55,000 people.

President Medvedev says Russia will continue to provide more aid and assistance to deal with the aftermath of the quake.

While relatively unknown in the West, Medvedev is well known in China. While Deputy Prime-Minister, he was responsible for the organisation of the Year of Russia in China. He visited the country both as an official and as a tourist.
“I’m convinced we have a potential for the fundamental strengthening of the Russian-Chinese partnership, including substantial improvement of economic development and co-operation in the sphere of innovations,” Medvedev said.

China is one of Russia's biggest trading partners. Since 2001 trade turnover between the countries has increased more than five-fold.

Hu Jintao is expected to visit Russia next year.

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