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“A number of important documents are being prepared for the visit, covering trade, economic, energy and humanitarian areas,” said an official statement from the Kremlin.
Sealing energy ties, a landmark Russian deal to supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of gas per annum for 30 years will also be signed during Putin’s trip. The two sides are also expected to announce a package of currency swaps during Putin’s trip.
Xi and Putin will also discuss Sino-Russian cooperation on global affairs, aside from taking stock of bilateral ties in Shanghai. Putin’s trip begins on May 20th.
Putin’s trip would come as a boost to an embattled Moscow as relations with the EU and the US are under heavy strain over the Ukraine crisis.
“The parties are to consider the current state of cooperation between Russia and China on the international arena and prospects for its development. The visit is to bring these relations to a new stage of overall partnership and strategic cooperation,” said the official Russian statement.
Xi’s March 22-24 official state visit to Russia, his first overseas visit since assuming the Chinese state’s highest office, had already stressed on the new alliance that Beijing is seeking with Moscow.
Russia and China have shown coordination and mutual support in global affairs and dispute resolution, especially at forums like the UN.
China had abstained from the US-backed resolution condemning the referendum in Crimea at an emergency UN Security Council meeting earlier this year.
Since the civil war began in Syria in 2011, Russia and China have vetoed three Western-backed Security Council resolutions condemning Assad’s government and threatening it with sanctions.
China is also Russia’s biggest trading partner outside the EU and the two nations have set a target of $200 billion bilateral trade by 2020.
Putin is also slated to attend the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) on May 21st.
The summit aims to improve dialogue and coordination for a new, peaceful and stable Asia. Russia has indicated it would like further “evolution” of the summit to strengthen its role and Putin would meet many of the stakeholders during his stay in Shanghai.
The CICA meet, attended by Xi and Putin, could assume significance in the backdrop of the recent tensions in the South China Sea and the much-hyped US Asia Pivot.
The South China Sea disputes between China and its neighbours where most parties lay contesting claims over huge expanses of water have heated up recently with the US saying China’s actions were “provocative and unhelpful to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.”
After China positioned a giant oil rig in an area also claimed by Vietnam, both sides accused the other’s vessel of colliding intentionally several times.
US Secretary of State John Kerry told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday that the US had “strong concerns” over recent developments in the region.