China-Russia relationship ‘a paragon of interstate cooperation between major powers in the 21st century’: Russian FM spokeswoman
Published: Oct 17, 2023 10:17 AM
China Russia Photo:VCG

China Russia Photo:VCG

Developing relations of comprehensive interaction and strategic partnership with China is an absolute priority for Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the Global Times in an exclusive interview, as Russian President Vladimir Putin is on a visit to China to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Zakharova describes the relations between Russia and China as "a paragon of interstate cooperation between major powers in the 21st century."

She believes that Putin's visit will become the central event of bilateral relations in the current time of the year.

The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday. Putin arrived in Beijing on Tuesday morning.

Putin was quoted by Russian news agencies on Sunday as seeing the BRI as "a desire for cooperation." The Russian president attended the previous two forums in 2017 and 2019. A representative Russian delegation will attend the forum this year. 

Russia is cooperating with China on pairing the development of the Eurasian Economic Union with the BRI.

"We view this important integration project as the backbone and key element in building a broad unifying framework for the Greater Eurasian Partnership," said Zakharova, referring to Moscow's strategy of connecting Europe and Asia.

Xinhua file photo of Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Maria Zakharova

Xinhua file photo of Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Maria Zakharova

In February, China and Russia held the third meeting of the Joint Committee of the Agreement on Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Eurasian Economic Union and adopted a roadmap. Zakharova said that the roadmap provides a good basis for the process of pairing the development of joint industrial integration projects. 

Putin's visit to China and attendance at the BRI forum "underscores the great importance we attach to the development of the integration processes in the Eurasian area," Zakharova added.

Putin's visit follows the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Russia in March. It was Xi's first visit to Moscow in three years. It was also his first overseas trip to Russia after his reelection as president of China. 

Zakharova told the Global Times that the two presidents pay high personal attention to the continuous progress of bilateral interaction, which is truly comprehensive.

"Any contact between the heads of state is an opportunity to substantively coordinate positions, analyze the implementation of previous agreements and approve new large-scale cooperation projects. Such meetings have never been of a formal nature; they are increasingly important in the context of the rapidly changing geopolitical situation and contribute to qualitatively strengthening ties between our countries," Zakharova said.