Chinese Premier arrives in Russia on official visit

St.Petersburg, Nov 6 (IANS) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived here in Russia on Sunday for the 21st China-Russia Prime Ministers’ Regular Meeting and on an official visit to the northern neighbour, media reported.

During the visit, Li and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will discuss issues of common concern. The two sides are also expected to sign cooperation agreements in areas such as trade, energy, customs and education, Xinhua news agency reported.

Li is also scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

China believes that the visit will inject fresh impetus into the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, said Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai at a press conference last week in Beijing.

On economic and trade cooperation, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui said in October that thanks to efforts by both sides, China-Russia trade halted falling and began to grow in the first half of this year, totaling $31.72 billion, up 1.8 per cent over the same period of last year.

He also expressed confidence in the prospects of cooperation between the two countries, citing their highly complementary economies and their agreement to synergise the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Eurasian Economic Union.

The belt is part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which also includes the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and aspires to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.

Russia is the last stop of Li’s eight-day Eurasia trip, which has already carried him to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Latvia.