Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan (L) shakes hands with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin (R) after signing the memorandum of the seventh round of the Sino-Russian energy negotiators' meeting in Moscow, Russia, on May 31, 2011. (Xinhua/Liu Lihang)
MOSCOW, June 1 (Xinhua) -- China and Russia have signed an agreement in gas cooperation and expected further progress in this field, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said on Tuesday.
When meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin after the seventh round of the Sino-Russian energy negotiators' meeting, Wang said China hopes the two sides could make further essential progress in gas talks as soon as possible.
The senior Chinese official said Sino-Russian energy cooperation, which is all-around, long-term and of strategic importance, is a key component of the strategic partnership of cooperation between the two nations.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia.
At the latest energy talks, the two sides exchanged views and plans on future energy cooperation, demonstrating mutual trust as well as candid and pragmatic spirit of cooperation between China and Russia, he noted.
Wang and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin inked a protocol to the Sino-Russian gas cooperation memorandum of understandingn Tuesday.
Putin said the two countries have jointly overcome the impact of global financial crisis on their bilateral trade, as the trade volume has reached 18 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter and would climb to 70 billion dollars at the end of this year.
He stressed that energy cooperation plays an important role in boosting the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of coordination, and Russia is glad to see the two countries' joint efforts in such areas as oil, gas, coal, nuclear energy, electricity and renewable energy.
Following the Sino-Russian oil pipeline project, which was put into operation on Jan. 1, the two countries are now negotiating two long-term gas projects, Putin said.
These projects, with the "west line" capable of supplying to China 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas and the "east line" of 38 billion cubic meters every year, would both be 30-year deals, the Russian PM said.