China willing to help Russia if required

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-1-21 23:48:03

China is willing to provide necessary help to Russia if it is needed, Shen Danyang, spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), said at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday, in response to a reporter's question about whether China will aid Russia amid the Western sanctions.

The MOFCOM has noticed the recent depreciation of the ruble and the related adjustment measures taken by Russia, Shen said. "Depreciation of the ruble will inevitably affect bilateral trade between the two countries. We are closely watching the impact."

The ruble weakened 41 percent against the US dollar in 2014, due to Western sanctions and the diving oil prices.

In November, Russia's GDP shrank 0.5 percent year-on-year, which was the first drop since October 2009. Russia predicted in December that the country's GDP may contact by 0.8 percent in 2015.

But Shen expressed confidence in the bilateral economic cooperation between China and Russia. Data from the MOFCOM showed that bilateral trade in 2014 reached $95.28 billion, up 6.8 percent year-on-year, which is higher than the rate of trade growth of each country in 2014.

In an agreement between China National Petroleum Corp and Russia's energy giant Gazprom in November, Russia agreed to supply 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to China for 30 years via a pipeline in the west.

That came after a $400 billion mega deal signed between the two countries in May, which would see an eastern pipeline start pumping 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually into China from 2018.

Posted in: Economy

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