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Putin to visit China in May to bolster ties
March 29, 2014, 4:58 am

Vladimir Putin rolled out a grandiose reception Friday for China's new president, who has chosen Moscow as his first foreign destination in March 2013 [AP]

Vladimir Putin rolled out a grandiose reception for China’s new president, who chose Moscow as his first foreign destination in March 2013 [AP]

To provide further impetus to already solid bilateral ties, Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit China in May this year, officials said on Friday.

“Russia is willing to make joint efforts with China to intensify humanistic exchanges thus paving the way for President (Vladimir) Putin’s state visit to China scheduled in May,” said Russian Vice Premier Olga Golodets at an event to mark the China-Russia Youth year in St. Petersburg on Friday.

While exchanging New Year greetings at the beginning of this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have vowed better ties between the two allies in 2014.

The Chinese President has made Russia the priority of Beijing’s foreign policy. Xi has made three state visits to Moscow since taking the reins of the Communist Party.

In 2013, Xi and Putin have overseen enormous Sino-Russian joint ventures including a massive oil deal with state-run Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company striking agreements to almost triple oil supplies to China in coming years from the around 300,000 barrels per day (15 million tonnes a year) it ships there currently.

As Beijing’s economic clout grows it is pressing for a new route of international relations along with Russia and its BRICS partners.

At a meeting in Netherlands this week, the BRICS Foreign Ministers slammed attempts to isolate Russia on the Ukraine issue after Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had said that Putin could be barred from attending the G20 Summit in November.

In a joint statement released after the meet in the Hague, the bloc of five said they would “continue to act as positive catalysts for inclusive change in the transformation process towards a new and more equitable global order”.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has hailed the decision taken by the BRICS countries not to support the US-backed UN resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva on Thursday. Russia and China voted against the UNHRC resolution.