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May 14, 2014

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Shanghai signings for Russia’s president

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit China next week, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said yesterday.

They will attend the Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia to be held in Shanghai, Qin said.

The Kremlin said Putin will oversee the signing of a number of “important agreements” in trade and energy when he is in Shanghai.

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said last month that Russia and China planned to wrap up a decade of talks on supplies of Russian natural gas before Putin’s visit.

Russian energy giant Gazprom said separately the contract was expected to be signed in May.

The Russian company and China National Petroleum Corp signed a framework agreement in 2009 which could eventually see almost 70 billion cubic meters of Russian gas sent to China annually for the next 30 years.

But the talks have become mired in pricing disputes.

Putin’s visit will mark a “new stage of the all-encompassing partnership and strategic cooperation,” the Kremlin said.

Meanwhile, the two countries will hold a joint naval drill in the northern part of the East China Sea between May 20 and 26, a spokesman for the Chinese Navy said.

Liang Yang told a press conference that the “Joint Sea-2014” drill will focus on defense and attack, escorts, search and rescue and the freeing of hijacked ships, among other actions.

Liang said the two sides will deploy a total of 14 vessels, two submarines and nine fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and special forces.

The aim was to boost the ability of both sides to handle maritime security threats and would not target any third party.


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