Moscow, March 19 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Chinese President Xi Jinping will discuss energy partnership during his maiden overseas visit to Russia, as leader of the world’s most populous country, the Kremlin said Monday.
He will undertake the state visit from March 22-24.
Xi will meet with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev March 23. Their talks will focus on trade and economic cooperation, investment and “fulfilling major energy projects”, the government’s press service said.
Talks over what would be a massive energy deal between Russia and China have been going on since the two sides signed a framework agreement in 2009.
Earlier, Russian deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Russia and China were likely to reach framework agreements on gas supplies by late March.
Under the deal, Gazprom, Russia’s largest extractor of natural gas and one of the largest companies in the world, would deliver up to 68 billion cubic metres of gas to China annually for 30 years.
But the price of the gas supplied has been a major stumbling block preventing both sides from signing a final agreement.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said earlier this month Beijing hoped to use the visit to Russia to “inject new and strong impetus to the growth of the comprehensive strategic partnership” with Russia.
Xi is also expected to visit Tanzania and the Congo and attend the fifth leaders’ summit of BRICS countries, which will be held in Durban, third largest city in South Africa after Johannesburg and Cape Town, between March 26-27.