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Putin offers to meet China’s growing energy demands, Xi wants ‘practical’ cooperation

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had held a round of “meaningful and frank” talks with China’s President Xi Jinping, during which Putin offered to meet China’s “growing demands” in energy, while Xi called for increased “practical” cooperation between the two countries.

Putin hailed the mutual benefits of the cooperation of the two countries after holding a round of talks with his Chinese counterpart who is on a formal state visit through March 220-22. He described the talks as “a very meaningful and frank exchange of views on the prospects for the development of Russian-Chinese relations.”

He added: “I am convinced that our multifaceted, mutually advantageous cooperation will continue to strengthen and develop dynamically for the benefit of the peoples of our countries.”

Putin emphasized Russian readiness and eagerness to expand bilateral economic ties with China.

He highlighted that Russian-Chinese trade rose by 30 percent to reach a record high of $185 billion in 2022 despite the repercussions of the pandemic and the sanctions imposed on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. Adding that it was expected for the trade volume between the two countries to surpass the milestone of $200 billion this year.

Putin said Russia stood ready ramp up deliveries of oil and gas to meet China’s growing demand for energy resources. “Russian business is able to meet China’s growing demand for energy carriers.”

Russian oil business took several hits as it was targeted by Western sanctions over Ukraine, including a price cap on its crude. State oil giant Rosneft reported an annual profit for 2022 down 7.9 percent from 2021.

Meanwhile, China – unperturbed by Western sanctions – is Russia’s largest oil buyer.

Putin also said Moscow was ready to help Chinese businesses in replacing the Western companies that left Russia over the Ukraine war.

Xi said he wanted to strengthen China’s cooperation and coordination with Russia, adding that “cooperation in the trade-and-economic, investment, energy, cultural, humanitarian, and inter-regional dimensions is developing,” TASS quoted him as saying.

He also called for working more closely to push for “practical cooperation.”

Putin said his talks with Xi were successful and constructive, and expressed his hope to remain in regular contact with his Chinese counterpart in the future.

Russian state media reported that Xi had an “informal one-on-one meeting” with Putin in the Kremlin on Monday, that lasted approximately 4.5 hours.

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