|Russia and the CIS News Digest
China and Russia Sign 15 Far East Cooperation Accords
March 21 (EIRNS)China and Russia signed 15 documents today in Vladivostok, committing $1.6 billion to cooperative efforts, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. The documents covered economic, technological, energy, and infrastructure cooperation. They were signed after visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping held a meeting on strengthening China-Russia interregional cooperation, known as the symposium on the China-Russia Ussuriysk economic and trade cooperation area.
Xi, who is considered President Hu Jintao's heir apparent, said Russia's Far East and China's northern frontier provinces were important trading partners and should enhance bilateral cooperation. This would not only promote economic and social development and improve the livelihoods of people in the neighboring regions, but also inject energy into the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries, he said. Xi, speaking to Russian Primorsky Territory Gov. Sergei Darkin, said that since both economies were developing quickly, he hoped China and Russia could seize the opportunity to obtain early achievements through interregional cooperation.
Russian Governor Darkin said Chinese companies were welcome to invest in Primorsky Territory, which is immediately to the north of China on the Pacific coast, and to see it as a bridge for their products to reach Europe. He expected further cooperation in agriculture, energy, finance, and service industries.
Russians Advancing on High-Speed Rail Plans
March 18 (EIRNS)Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed a decree today "On Measures to Develop High-Speed Railway Transport in Russia," in furtherance of the government's plan to expand modern rail infrastructure in the nation. In a statement on the event, Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin said: "The signed decree will support Russian Railways in developing high-speed railway transport, which is one of the priority goals of the 'Strategy for Developing Rail Transport in the Russian Federation up to 2030,' and one of the most important aspects of the breakthrough development of Russia's railway system."
Yakunin also reported that the high-speed rail line between Moscow and St. Petersburg, in operation for about three months, has been functioning at 90-100% capacity, and is plans to increase its frequency.