RUSSIA, CHINA, MONGOLIA CLOSE PARTNERSHIP
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA- September 15, 2022 - Meeting with PRC President Xi Jinping and President of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh
Samarkand hosted a trilateral meeting of Vladimir Putin, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping and President of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Xi Jinping, President Khurelsukh,
My dear friends,
I am happy to hold our talks in a trilateral format to discuss current issues related to developing our cooperation.
Russia is interested in the comprehensive promotion of relations with each of your states and I must say that relations are developing dynamically, constructively and for the benefit of all.
Of course, the Russia-China-Mongolia format is of special importance as an effective supplement to bilateral cooperation that ensures high added value for all three countries.
This close trilateral cooperation is completely natural, considering the geographical proximity and long-standing traditions of friendship, mutual support, respect and sympathy in relations between the people of Russia, China and Mongolia.
Our countries share approaches to a majority of urgent international issues and we act from coordinated positions in the UN and regional organisations. Together, we have managed to achieve tangible results in developing cooperation in the economy, trade, industry, science, high technology, environmental protection, the cultural, humanitarian and many other spheres.
I would like to recall that at a trilateral summit in Ufa in 2015, we endorsed a roadmap to build up our cooperation across the board. Following this fundamental document, in 2016 we approved a programme for creating a Russia-Mongolia-China economic corridor. Today, we can note with satisfaction that all these agreements are being successfully implemented and are yielding us practical dividends.
Mutual trade is growing year by year. Compared to 2014, when we started the trilateral format, Russia’s aggregate trade with China and Mongolia increased by almost 60 percent to over $142 billion in 2021. This amount grew by another 30 percent in the first half of this year.
The consistent course pursued by our three countries on broader use of national currencies in commercial settlements undoubtedly contributes to trade growth. Today, President Xi and I stated with satisfaction that the share of settlements in national currencies in Russia's trade with China increased to 27.5 percent in the first quarter of this year.
In this context, it is important, wherever possible, to transition to national payment platforms, such as the Bank of Russia’s financial messaging system or China’s cross-border payment system, which will make settlements between our states largely immune to external risks, including political risks.
Further development of multifaceted cooperation between the business circles of Russia, China and Mongolia, including as part of interregional and cross-border cooperation, should also be promoted in every possible way.
The regularly held joint tripartite business forums, fairs and exhibitions are enormously effective as well. In particular, the Joint Trade and Economic Forum of the three countries with the participation of a representative Russian delegation is scheduled to be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in autumn.
Undoubtedly, reinforcing trade, economic and investment ties between Russia, China and Mongolia is an important part of the integration processes in Eurasia and ties in well with the EAEU development processes and efforts to move forward China’s One Belt One Road initiative and Mongolia’s Steppe Road initiative.
Based on the existing record of accomplishment of trilateral cooperation, we propose focusing our efforts on the sustained implementation of the programme for expanding the Russian-Chinese-Mongolian economic corridor. Since it is making good progress, we agreed to renew it for another five-year period.
It appears that the efforts to move this programme forward should focus on further expansion of joint transport and logistics infrastructure and the creation of closer coordination of the national transport development programmes.
These steps will help facilitate a significant increase in cross-border cargo transportation and growth in mutual trade, and will also boost regional development.
The critical joint projects include modernisation of the Ulaanbaatar Railway, which is an important artery for container traffic between Russia, Mongolia and China. We believe it is necessary to continue to expand the capacity of this transport corridor and to renovate tracks, rolling stock and locomotive power.
In particular, we plan to renovate the Naushki checkpoint on the Russian-Mongolian border in order to increase cargo transit capacity to 15 million tonnes by 2025. We hope that existing border crossings on the Chinese-Mongolian border will benefit from its expanded capacity and more border crossings will be built.
It is also worth thinking about expanding and upgrading another transit corridor that goes through eastern Mongolia, which will be beneficial for traffic volume and speed, and will also make it possible to evenly distribute the load among the three countries’ transport networks.
We believe that expanding cooperation with China and Mongolia in the energy sector holds promise. The construction of the Soyuz Vostok gas pipeline from Russia to China across Mongolia is part of the current agenda. We discussed this issue in depth with your representatives who took part in the Eastern Economic Forum last week. Gazprom is in the final stages of discussing project details with the Chinese and Mongolian parties.
Chances are good for increasing Russia’s cross-border electricity supplies to China and Mongolia. Friends, we predict that energy transmission from Russia to your respective countries will have grown by about 20 percent to 5.2 billion kilowatt-hours by the end of this year.
No doubt, there are many more promising areas for trilateral cooperation. In particular, Russia is open to closer partnership with China and Mongolia in scientific research and the high-tech industry, including in areas such as creating modern science towns, technology parks and joint laboratories and expanding scientific and technical exchanges, as well as training and advanced training for academic and engineering professionals.
Of great importance is the implementation of trilateral transboundary environmental programmes aimed at preserving unique flora and fauna and developing specially protected natural areas in our common region.
Of course, it is also important to carry on our effective cooperation in the fight against infectious diseases, in particular, to improve the mechanisms of monitoring transmitting agents and the epidemiological situation in cross-border regions as a whole, as well as to coordinate efforts to prevent disease and set up quarantines.
Needless to say, special attention should be given to the development of cooperation among our countries in the tourism sphere. It would be useful to work together to create new transboundary and international travel routes across Russia, China and Mongolia, which will attract tourists not only from our countries but from across the world.
In conclusion, I would like to express certainty that the agreements we have reached today will help strengthen interaction between Russia, China and Mongolia in all spheres.
Thank you. I turn the floor over to the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Chairman, Mr President,
For my part, I would also like to thank you for a substantive exchange of views and information. I would like to say that our now traditional trilateral meetings on the sidelines of SCO events definitely benefit the development of relations between our countries.
I agree with you that we should emphasise the expansion of our practical cooperation in all spheres, and I believe that the unconditional implementation of the agreements we have discussed, after their expert examination at the practical and professional level, will certainly benefit us.
In conclusion, I would like to express hope for the continuation of our fruitful cooperation in the trilateral format. I am happy to pass on the responsibilities of chair of the next meeting to our Chinese friends.