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러중 정상 언론성명(20240516)+푸틴 러시아언론 회견 등

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by gino's 2024. 5. 17. 14:41


Media statement following Russia-China talks

May 16, 2024   09:55   Beijing


President of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): President Putin,

Members of the media, good afternoon. I am very pleased to join you together with President Putin. He chose China for his first foreign state visit after starting his new presidential term, which offers convincing proof of the attention Mr Putin and Russia attach to their relations with China. I cannot but welcome this attitude and would like to extend my heartfelt greetings to President Putin.

Mr Putin and I have just held "frank, friendly and meaningful talks" to review our achievements in promoting bilateral ties over the past 75 years, since our two countries established diplomatic relations. We also had a detailed exchange of opinions on the <bilateral> agenda and timely <international> and <regional matters> of mutual interest. Furthermore, we outlined our objectives and plans for further expanding China-Russia relations and our multifaceted cooperation.


We signed joint statements on enhancing the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation for a new era in the context of the  75th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations.

Several milestone intergovernmental and interagency documents were signed in our presence, giving a new powerful impetus to the steady advancement of China-Russia relations.

This year, we will be marking the 75th anniversary China-Russia diplomatic relations. We have overcome many challenges and forged even stronger ties over the past three quarters of a century. I must note that we have been continually enhancing out bilateral relations ever since they entered a new era, giving new substance to our cooperation. The idea of friendship has become deeply ingrained in our mindsets.

China and Russia have served as a role model by showing others ways of building state-to-state ties of a new kind and working together as two major neighbouring powers. Our commitment to the following <five principles> has made all of this possible.

1. The first principle involves demonstrating mutual respect and firm commitment to supporting each other on matters dealing with the core interests of both sides.

President Putin and I share the view that we have been able to develop a new model (enabling neighbouring major powers to develop their relations based on the principles of respect and equality). We also demonstrate mutual and resolute support on matters dealing with the core interests of both parties and address each other’s current concerns. This is the main pillar of the Russia-China comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation for a new era. Our two countries are committed to acting in the spirit of non-alignment with any blocs, rejecting confrontation and refraining from targeting any third countries while demonstrating our steadfast commitment to confidence building measures on political matters, respecting the development trajectories we choose for ourselves and firmly supporting each other as we strive for shared prosperity and revival.

2. The second principle consists of promoting a win-win approach to shaping a new architecture of mutually beneficial cooperation.

Last year, trade between our countries increased by a factor of almost 2.7 compared to what we had ten years ago and exceeded $240 billion. This reflects our continuous effort to deepen comprehensive mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries. President Putin and I agreed that we must find common ground regarding the interests our countries pursue and exploit the advantages we have when working together on our shared interests and initiatives.

It is essential that we carry on with our efforts to streamline our cooperation and inject even more positive momentum in trade and other traditional domains of our cooperation. We must support networks promoting fundamental research, unleash our cooperation potential in high-technology sectors, step up our cooperation on border crossings, transport and logistics, and ensure the stable operation of global manufacturing and supply chains.

3. The third principle deals with maintaining our centuries-old friendly ties and passing on this friendship from one generation to another. China and Russia both pride themselves on their ancient history and outstanding cultures. People from average Chinese families read Pushkin’s and Tolstoi’s books, while traditional Chinese culture, including the Beijing opera and Tai chi, has been very popular among Russians.

Our countries have been steadily expanding their cultural and humanitarian ties lately as part of the China-Russia roadmap for humanitarian cooperation until 2030. President Putin and I decided to hold the Years of Chinese and Russian culture in 2024 and 2025 by organising a series of lively and spectacular cultural events for the general public in order to promote closer ties between our civil societies, as well as region-to-region ties as a way to bring our two nations closer together.

4. The fourth point is that we must act "in the spirit of strategic cooperation" to set various visions of global governance on the right track. China and Russia have been firmly advocating a UN-centred system of international relations and an international order based on international law. We have been coordinating our positions within multilateral platforms such as the United Nations, APEC and the G20 to promote the emergence of a multipolar world and economic globalisation based on genuine multilateralism.

We express our firm commitment to working together in the context of Russia’s BRICS chairmanship this year and when China assumes the SCO presidency in the second half of the year by forging a comprehensive, closely-knit, result-driven and inclusive high-level partnership for uniting the Global South and making it stronger. 브릭스, 러시아 의장국+하반기 중국 상하이 협력기구 의장

5. The fifth principle deals with promoting a political settlement for hotspots in the interest of truth and justice. Today’s world is still plagued by Cold War mentality. Aspirations to securing a unilateral hegemony, bloc-based confrontation and power politics pose a direct threat to peace and security for all countries around the world.

President Putin and I discussed the need to achieve an immediate settlement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to resolve the Palestinian issue (based on the two-state solution) and in keeping with the UN resolution. China and Russia believe that the Ukraine crisis must be resolved by political means.( China has been consistent and clear on this matter by advocating for compliance with the norms and principles set forth in the UN Charter, respecting state sovereignty and territorial integrity for all countries), while taking into consideration their reasonable security concerns. This approach aims to shape a new balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture.

China hopes that peace and stability will return to the European continent "soon" and is ready to constructively contribute to making this happen. As we say in China, tree bark(나무껍질, 목피) forms by the accumulation of soil, while an accumulation of water creates oceans. It is thanks to their efforts over the past 75 years that China and Russia have been building upon their centuries-old friendship and comprehensive cooperation to generate powerful momentum, which enabled them to overcome all challenges and reach new heights.

Having reached a new threshold in the history of their relations, China and Russia will uphold their commitment to the primary goal of working for the benefit of the two nations and effectively contributing to promoting lasting peace and development across the planet with a sense of responsibility. Thank you.

Thank you for your attention.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Xi Jinping,

Friends, comrades, Ladies and gentlemen, First, I would like to express gratitude to the President of the People’s Republic of China and to all our Chinese colleagues for a warm welcome. As we walked to this hall, we exchanged views with President Xi. It is true that our Chinese friends have created both a friendly and warm environment and a "pragmatic, business-like and constructive atmosphere" that is good for working.

The talks we have just finished highlighted the great significance that Moscow and Beijing attach to the development and strengthening of comprehensive Russia-China partnership and strategic interaction. This partnership can certainly set an example of ties between neighbouring states.

The high standards and the special nature of Russia-China relations were reaffirmed when President Xi, as you remember and as he has mentioned just now, paid a state visit to Russia soon after his re-election as President of the People’s Republic of China in March 2023. It is logical that China is the first foreign country I have visited since assuming office as President of Russia.

There is certainly a degree of "symbolism" in this, but there is also more to it. These events have a practical content and are very useful, helping us to synchronise watches and move forward along the path we choose jointly with the President of the People’s Republic of China. We maintain regular contact. Apart from holding regular bilateral summits, we also meet on the sidelines of multilateral events and have telephone conversations, so that we can discuss any, even the most difficult issues and personally oversee all the essential issues of the bilateral and international agenda.

I would like to emphasise that this state visit takes place in the year of the 75th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. Our country was the first to recognise the People’s Republic of China on October 2, 1949, the day after its declaration. We also provided substantial assistance to it at the initial stage of the development of its political system, state institutions and the economy. Our cooperation grew stronger and developed for decades after that. We have accumulated positive experience of a multifaceted and mutually beneficial partnership. Our shared baggage includes major achievements in widely different fields.

Today, President Xi Jinping and I discussed the current state and outlook for bilateral cooperation in a warm, friendly and constructive atmosphere. We noted with satisfaction the intensity of our dialogue on political and security matters, the growing pace of our economic exchanges, the expansion of our cultural contacts and our effective coordination on the international stage.

I want to note the significance of the Joint Statement we have adopted, which sets new objectives and long-term directives for advancing the entire spectrum of Russian-Chinese relations. The realisation of these goals will undoubtedly facilitate the implementation of an extensive array of intergovernmental, interdepartmental, and commercial agreements drafted for this visit.

Certainly, trade and investment interaction was a focal point during our talks, considering China’s prominent position as Russia’s leading foreign trade partner. Additionally, our country secured the fourth place in the export-import balance of the People’s Republic of China based on last year’s results.

러시아, 2023년 중국의 4대 교역국. 교역 25% 늘어 2400만 달러 기록. 러, 대중 식량 수출만 50% 이상 늘어 76억 달러 기록. 농산물 수출 40% 늘어 97억 달러. 정부간 80개 프로젝트에 2000억 달러 투자 진행중. 양국간 상업 거래의 90% 이상 위안화/루블 결제. '제3국' 영향에서 보호받아!

In 2023, bilateral trade surged by a quarter, reaching a new milestone of $240 billion, as reported by Chinese statistics. While there may be a slight variance in figures, the overall total is entirely accurate. I would particularly like to highlight the growth of Russian food exports to the Chinese market, which surged by more than 50 percent to $7.6 billion. Overall, bilateral trade in agricultural products grew by 40 percent, totalling $9.7 billion. There are strong indications that this trade segment will continue to expand further. Investment cooperation is advancing dynamically, with the total volume of mutual investments on the rise. Currently, there are over 80 priority projects valued at approximately $200 billion in progress or in preparation for implementation through the respective intergovernmental commission.

The enhancement of trade and investment ties was greatly aided by the coordinated measures implemented to shift payments between our countries into national currencies. Currently, the ruble and yuan comprise over 90 percent of Russian-Chinese commercial transactions, with this proportion steadily increasing. This trend signifies that our mutual trade and investment are securely protected (from the influence of third countries) and adverse developments on global currency markets. In light of this, we have agreed to further improve communication between credit and banking institutions of Russia and China, while actively employing national payment systems to support our economic operators.

Naturally, during the talks, extensive discussions were held on cooperation in the rapidly evolving energy sector. This domain remains one of our key priorities, and we have concrete plans to enhance cooperation in energy-related projects.

로사톰, 중국 티안완+수다푸NPP에 러시아 설계 발전기 구축중. / 고속중성자로 시설 중국에 건설+러중 핵연구원, 러시아 두브나에 입자충돌기 복합시설(NICA) 공동 건설중. 세계적으로 신기원을 열 시설?

Energy cooperation between Russia and China extends beyond hydrocarbons to encompass the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Rosatom is building power units (of Russian design) at the Tianwan NPP and the Xudapu NPP in the People’s Republic of China. The commissioning of these units is poised to make a substantial contribution to China’s energy supply, providing affordable and clean energy to Chinese industries and households alike.

Furthermore, with Russia’s involvement, an experimental fast-neutron(고속 중성자로 시설) facility has been built in China, and work is underway on the construction of a new demonstration fast reactor. With support from Chinese partners, the construction of the NICA accelerator complex is underway in Dubna, near Moscow, based on the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. Experiments conducted at this collider will pave the way for groundbreaking mega-science projects that surpass the capabilities of any single country in the world. (NICA: 러시아 두브나에 건설 중인 입자충돌기 복합시설인 NICA(Nuclotron-based Ion Collider fAcility)는 고정 표적에 추출된 핵융합 이온 빔과 이온-양성자, 편광 양성자 및 중수자의 충돌 빔 등의 실험을 위해 러시아 공동 원자력 연구소에서 건설 중인 입자충돌기 복합시설이다.)

Regarding bilateral industrial cooperation, we are pleased to witness the proactive expansion of Chinese automakers and household appliance manufacturers in the Russian market. As discussed during our talks, and as the President said, we acknowledge the detrimental effect of any unlawful actions, sanctions, or restrictions. We wholeheartedly embrace collaboration with our Chinese counterparts in the automobile manufacturing sector, where they have demonstrated clear and undeniable successes and competitive advantages through fair competition. We look forward to further developing this cooperation.

Major joint projects are underway in non-ferrous metallurgy(비철야금), chemical and pulp industries, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, space exploration, and various other high-tech sectors. Russia and China are jointly developing international transport and logistics corridors, harnessing the potential of the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railways, as well as the Northern Sea Route. Year by year, the volume of incoming cargo and passenger traffic is on the rise. To improve their efficiency, we are collaboratively enhancing the capacity of border crossings and expanding border infrastructure.

Russia and China are vigorously developing cultural and humanitarian cooperation. As previously mentioned, 2024 and 2025 have been designated as cross years of culture in our countries. The official commencement will take place this evening. The programme for the cross years is comprehensive, encompassing a wide array of cultural events to be held in 38 cities across Russia and 51 cities in China. These events include festivals, fairs, theatre tours, ice shows, museum exhibitions, film screenings, and much more.

I want to highlight that in February, the Chinese New Year was officially celebrated in Moscow for the first time, with the support of the city mayor’s office. It’s worth noting that these vibrant festivities were conducted on a grand scale and were enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people. Educational cooperation between our countries is also improving. Thousands and tens of thousands of Russian and Chinese citizens are pursuing education in China and Russia, respectively.

Tomorrow, we are scheduled to visit Harbin Institute of Technology, a prominent Chinese institution that has been engaged in successful collaboration with Bauman Moscow State Technical University since 2019. Additionally, in the near future, a Russian-Chinese training centre in natural sciences will open in Harbin, as part of a partnership between Harbin Institute of Technology and St Petersburg State University.

관광객 2023년, 방중 러시아인 73만4000명+방러 중국인 47만7000명

Mutual tourism is growing, largely thanks to both countries’ visa free regime for tourists. For example, 734,000 Russians visited China and 477,000 Chinese tourists visited Russia in 2023. Our sports cooperation is on the rise. Chinese athletes demonstrated good achievements at the first international Games of the Future tournament held in Kazan in February and March 2024. The games, which are a new format of sports movement proposed by Russia, combine dynamic classical sports with cybersport.

Frankly, I can tell the audience that I never thought these games would grow to such proportions and would cause such big interest among young people. As you know, it was an interesting event, which hundreds of millions of people, by and large, watched in cyberspace. We hope that China will become an active partner and will host one of the forthcoming events of the Games of the Future. We also look forward to seeing Chinese athletes at large sports events Russia will host in 2024, such as the BRICS Games, the Summer Children of Asia Games and the World Friendship Games

Our talks have reaffirmed that Russia and China have similar or identical views on many international and regional issues. Both countries have an independent and sovereign foreign policy. We are working together to create a fairer and more democratic multipolar world order based on the central role of the UN and its Security Council, international law, cultural and civilizational diversity, as well as a calibrated balance of interests of all members of the international community.

EAEU+BRI=a Greater Eurasian Partnership

Acting from these positions, Russia and China are fruitfully working together in BRICS, where Russia is holding chairmanship this year, and in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the chairmanship of which China will take over in July. Of course, our countries are resolved to continue working to align integration processes underway within the framework of the EAEU with China's Belt and Road Initiative,( with a view to ultimately creating) a Greater Eurasian Partnership. This is why our countries call for renovating global economic governance, for reforming and depoliticising multilateral institutes, such as the World Trade Organisation, G20 and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and for adjusting them to modern realities.

We believe that it is necessary to create a reliable and appropriate security architecture in the Asia-Pacific Region, which has no place for closed military-political alliances. We believe that the creation of such alliances is extremely harmful and counterproductive.  We have agreed with President Xi Jinping to hold a detailed discussion of the entire range of foreign policy issues at an information meeting this evening. For my part, I will certainly update the President of the People’s Republic of China on the situation with the Ukraine crisis. We are grateful to our Chinese friends and colleagues for their initiatives on the settlement of that problem.

Ladies and gentlemen, The agenda of this state visit is very intense. Today, I will attend several more events jointly with President Xi Jinping and hold a meeting with Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Qiang. Tomorrow, the Russian delegation will visit Harbin to attend the opening ceremony of the 8th Russia-China Expo and the 4th Russian-Chinese Forum on Interregional Cooperation. In addition, we will meet with the students and faculty of the Harbin Institute of Technology.

Colleagues, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to President Xi Jinping and all our Chinese colleagues for their hospitality. I believe that this visit and talks will help strengthen Russian-Chinese friendship and will boost the well-being and prosperity of our nations. Thank you.


Beginning of the conversation with President of China Xi Jinping

May 16, 2024 07:00
Conversation with President of China Xi Jinping. Photo: Konstantin Zavrazhin

Xi Jinping (retranslated)Esteemed President Putin and ministers of Russia!

Esteemed President Putin, my great friend, I welcome you on your state visit to China. Several days ago, you took the oath of office and officially started your fifth presidential term. I would like to congratulate you and, through you, the entire Russian people on this once again. I am convinced that you will certainly lead Russia to great achievements in national development and revival.

The current year is marked by the 75th anniversary of China-Russia diplomatic relations. In the past three quarters of the century, these relations have tempered in hard conditions, stood the test of the volatile international situation and become a model of ties between large powers and neighbours. They are distinguished by mutual respect, trust and friendship, and reciprocal benefits.

During these years, we met at least 40 times. Such close ties allow us to map out strategic areas for preserving the stable and rapid dynamics of growing Sino-Russian relations. This was a hard job and therefore, these relations require utmost care. 푸틴+시진핑 40여차례 회동?

Sustainable development of Sino-Russian relations not only meets the vital interests of our two countries and peoples but also benefits the cause of peace and prosperity in the region and the rest of the world. In the new period, we intend, as always, to be good neighbours, trusted friends and reliable partners with Russia. We are going to consistently strengthen the centuries-long friendship between our peoples, promote together national development and revival, and uphold international equality and justice by concerted efforts. Thank you!


President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Excellency Mr Xi Jinping, my dear friend,

I am sincerely delighted to return to China and enjoy its hospitality, meet my friends here and have a meeting with you six months after my previous visit. I would like to thank you for sending me a message congratulating me on my re-election as President of the Russian Federation. And thank you so much for your invitation to visit.

By the same token, your visit to Moscow in March 2023 took place immediately after your election as President of the People’s Republic of China. We have thus forged this positive and commendable tradition of paying each other our first foreign visits upon our election. It serves as a testament to the unwavering commitment of both Moscow and Beijing to expand their bilateral relations within the framework of their comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation.

As you have just said, we will be marking a major milestone, an anniversary. On October 1, we will celebrate 75 years since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, and the very next day, on October 2, our two countries established diplomatic relations. The Soviet Union was the first country to recognise the new China.

Moscow and Beijing have built a solid track record in terms of their practical cooperation. In 2023, bilateral trade increased by almost 25%, reaching $227 billion, which was quite a positive result. China is Russia’s main trade and economic partner. Last year, Russia became the PRC’s fourth largest trading partner, which is attributable, in part, to the adoption following your March 2023 visit to Moscow of a development plan spanning the key sectors of Russia-China economic cooperation until 2030.

Our priorities include energy, manufacturing, agriculture (and we have already touched upon this topic on our way here), as well as cooperation in high technology, innovation, infrastructure, construction and transport. We have also expanded our scientific and cultural cooperation, and will hold the cross years of Russian and Chinese culture in 2024 and 2025 just as we agreed.

It is of fundamental significance that relations between Russia and China do not depend on short-term considerations and are not directed against anyone. Today, our cooperation in global affairs is one of the main stabilising factors on the international stage. We are acting jointly to uphold the principles of justice and a democratic world order that reflects multipolar realities and is based on international law.

Russia and China have been effective in working together within the United Nations, BRICS, the SCO, as well as the G20. We reaffirm our commitment to taking further steps to harmonise integration processes across the Eurasian space and align EurAsEc potential with the Belt and Road Initiative you are promoting, my dear friend. I do hope that this visit injects even greater momentum into our efforts to expand our bilateral cooperation in all its aspects. Once again, I would like to emphasise that I am delighted to come to China and to see you. Thank you very much.


Meeting with Premier of the State Council of China Li Qiang

During his state visit to China, Vladimir Putin met with Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Qiang. May 16, 2024, 11:45, Beijing

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Before the meeting with Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Qiang. Photo: Sergey Guneev, RIA Novosti


President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Premier of the State Council,

For my part, I am also very pleased to meet with you and discuss topical issues of bilateral cooperation following our extensive and detailed talks with President Xi Jinping today. We have signed the fundamental Joint Statement on deepening our comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction as we enter a new era. We have set ambitious goals and long-term guidelines for the development of the entire range of Russia-China relations. As you just mentioned, this document was signed ahead of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries.

Over the past seven and a half decades, Russia-China relations have developed dynamically and reached an unprecedentedly high level. They are based on a solid foundation of neighbourliness, equality, mutual respect and support. This strategic approach serves the fundamental interests of the Russian and Chinese nations. In this connection, I would like to thank you personally, esteemed Mr Premier, as well as all your colleagues from the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, for prioritising stronger and diversified Russia-China cooperation, particularly our trade and economic ties.

We have scored impressive results in practical cooperation through joint efforts. Today, we have already discussed statistics that highlight bilateral trade. As you mentioned, according to Chinese statistics, bilateral trade has exceeded $240 billion. Our statistics are slightly lower, but this is not important. We have reached such a high level in the past five years.

Energy is a key area of our cooperation. Russia is a reliable supplier of energy carriers for the growing Chinese economy. By the way, last year saw record high Russian oil, gas and coal shipments to China. We are expanding our industrial cooperation, including in the automotive industry, and increasing agricultural trade volumes. We are coordinating various plans in high technology and innovation, including space exploration and the nuclear power industry, and implementing them successfully. We have achieved tangible results in developing the transport infrastructure.

Furthermore, we are deepening our cultural and humanitarian ties. We are organising numerous events and implementing roadmaps for cultural and humanitarian cooperation until 2030 in the fields of education, culture, healthcare, sport, media, cinema, tourism, archives and youth policy. The cross years of Russian and Chinese culture play an important role in this context. President Xi Jinping and I will officially launch them today.

I understand that you have established cordial and business-like relations with Mr Mishustin, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. We hope that your close and truly professional working relationship will continue. In practice, the mechanism of regular meetings between Russian and Chinese heads of government has proven to be effective. This also applies to the implementation of the entire range of highest-level agreements. Moscow is set to host regular talks at the level of prime ministers. We look forward to welcoming you to Russia. I am confident that these talks will contribute to further deepening Russia-China relations. Thank you.


Russia and China open cross years of culture

Vladimir Putin and President of the PRC Xi Jinping made a speech at the gala concert devoted to the 75th anniversary of Russia-China diplomatic relations and the opening of Russia and China’s years of culture. May 16, 202412:45 Beijing

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Gala concert devoted to the 75th anniversary of Russia-China diplomatic relations and the opening of Russia and China’s years of culture. Photo: Sergey Guneev, RIA Novosti

The event took place in China’s National Grand Theatre.

* * *

Xi Jinping (retranslated): Ladies and gentlemen, friends, good evening.

I am delighted to join you in attending the opening ceremony for the Year of Culture of China and Russia, and a concert in honour of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries. Last year, President Putin and I agreed to declare 2024 and 2025 Years of Culture of China and Russia. I am confident that the array of vibrant events commencing today will serve as an additional impetus to deepening the centuries-old Chinese-Russian friendship and fostering greater mutual understanding between our nations.

This year, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. The incredible path we have traversed – a path that spans three quarters of a century – convinces us that the continuous strengthening and development of eternal good-neighbourliness, comprehensive strategic interaction, and mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and China meets the fundamental interests of our countries and peoples, and aligns with the trends set by the international community and the times. The importance of the unchanging relationship between China and Russia is difficult to overestimate.

As one of the cherished traditions of cultural and humanitarian ties between China and Russia, the thematic years are a distinctive feature and an outstanding factor in the chronicle of our bilateral relations, enjoying great popularity among the people in our countries. The ninth cross year organised by the two countries includes various engaging events and humanitarian exchanges, which provide opportunities to use the potential of bilateral cooperation in the cultural sphere and open new horizons for cultural and humanitarian ties between China and Russia.

Music unites the hearts of like-minded people. In Chinese culture, it is traditionally perceived as a language of friendship and a means to express feelings and emotions. Russia’s musical culture boasts a rich and long history and has tremendous appeal. The folk music of China and Russia holds a special place in the flourishing garden of global civilisation.

Today, on this stage, the talented musicians from China’s State Orchestra of Folk Music and Russia’s Nikolai Osipov Orchestra [Nikolai Osipov National Academic Orchestra of Russian Folk Instruments] will perform together not only those Russian melodies that enjoy immense popularity in China, including “Evenings near Moscow” and “Katyusha,” but also excerpts from unique Chinese musical compositions with an Eastern flavour, such as “A Fisherman’s Evening Song” and “Flowers are Beautiful and the Moon is Full.”

Today’s musical performance will undoubtedly leave a vibrant mark in the history of cultural exchanges between China and Russia. Let us further strengthen our traditional friendship within the framework of the years of culture, and as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries, let us forge ahead together, infuse our comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction in a new era with fresh content, and, hand in hand, open a new and wonderful chapter in the history of friendship between China and Russia. Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Esteemed President Xi Jinping! Dear friend! Ladies and gentlemen,

I certainly agree with President Xi Jinping – 75 years of diplomatic relations is an important anniversary for our countries. I would like to recall that the Soviet Union was the first state to recognise the People’s Republic of China – on the following day after its establishment.

Our country rendered large-scale assistance at the initial stage of the development of the new Chinese state and facilitated the consolidation of its independence and sovereignty. We are certainly glad that the Chinese people managed to make such impressive achievements in developing their country and fill their ancient civilisation with powerful life energy under the leadership of the Communist Party.

Seventy five years is a short period of time by the yardstick of centuries-long history of Russia and China, but during this period we managed to achieve serious results, amass the priceless experience of close, goodneighbourly interaction that embraced joint successes and achievements as well as important historical lessons. I apologise for talking at length and not giving an interpreter the time to do his job but I feel at home and decided everyone speaks Russian here. (Applause.)

Allow me to continue. The main thing has always remained unchanged − the traditions of Russian-Chinese friendship, which has stood the test of time and continues to strengthen for the benefit of the peoples of our two countries. We can be justly proud of the fact that Russian-Chinese relations have now reached the highest level in history and have acquired the character of genuine comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction.They provide a model of cooperation between neighbouring countries, which is based on mutual consideration of interests, respect and trust of each other. 

Importantly, Russian-Chinese partnership is continuously growing, improving and diversifying owing to new formats and areas. Its regulatory framework is expanding.Symbolically, such a large-scale joint project as the years of culture of Russia and China has been timed to the anniversary of our bilateral relations. The programme of our cross years is very extensive. It includes guest performances of capital and regional theatres, circus and cinema festivals, museum and library exhibitions and forums, fairs of culture and art, and sports competitions.

I would like to emphasise that this programme also includes China’s national contest for the knowledge of the Russian language. I am sure that all these events will receive an enthusiastic response in China. Indeed, the names of Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff are well known in China.

The President of the People’s Republic of China recalled popular Soviet songs today – “Evenings near Moscow” and “Katyusha.” However, I know that other melodies will also sound today. Incidentally, I have heard more than once how our Chinese friends emotionally sing these well-known and popular tunes not only in our country but also in China. In turn, in Russia the interest in Chinese culture is not limited to the use of Chinese motives in décor, architecture, study of the Chinese language, tea ceremonies, the art of making china, or say, in wushu. Modern Chinese cinema, painting. and books by Chinese authors are becoming increasingly more popular.

The suggested programme is not limited to Moscow and St Petersburg, Beijing and Shanghai. It covers many cities and regions of the two countries. This means that many people will receive an opportunity to know each other and will be involved in mutual communication.

We have talked now about music melodies and songs. But these events are devoted to the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations. A well-known song of that time – 75 years ago − is often performed today. It has a sentence that has become a catch phrase – “Russian and Chinese are brothers forever.” I am confident that we will continue strengthening harmonious Russia-China partnership in this fraternal spirit.

We will continue acting in unison for the sake of the successful development of our two countries and prosperity of our peoples with a view to enhancing the authority and influence of Russia and China in the world. Our cooperation has limitless opportunities and prospects. We are strong enough to cope with any obstacles and implement most ambitious plans. I wish you success in all planned undertakings and thank you for your attention.


Russian-Chinese talks

At the invitation of President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin arrived in China for a state two-day visit. May 16, 2024, 09:50 Beijing

Ahead of the talks, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping offered an official welcome ceremony to President of Russia Vladimir Putin, during which the two leaders introduced their delegations. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping held a conversation at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, followed by expanded Russian-Chinese consultations. They covered a range of bilateral cooperation topics and exchanged perspectives on current international and regional issues.

Following the talks, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping signed a Joint Statement between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, aimed at strengthening their comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction in a new era, marking the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Furthermore, a series of documents were signed in the presence of both leaders. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping made statements to the media.


Answers to media questions following the visit to China

Vladimir Putin replied to questions from Russian media representatives on the outcomes of his two-day state visit to the People’s Republic of China.

May 17, 2024, 13:30, Harbin
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Vladimir Putin replied to questions from Russian media representatives on the outcomes of his two-day state visit to the People’s Republic of China.

Question: It would not be an exaggeration to say that the whole world watched your visit here, as evidenced by a spate of news reports and publications. It is clear that the future of the rapidly changing world largely depends on the positions of Russia and China. Following your talks in China, we would like to know whether Moscow and Beijing have a shared understanding of how the future system of international security and politics should evolve.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: First of all, I would like to thank President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping and the leadership of China for this invitation and for creating a very favourable and warm atmosphere for our joint work. On the whole, the talks were very meaningful and very substantive. This was an official state visit, but it was also very much a working trip. From morning until evening, we spent virtually the entire day with the President of China and his colleagues. We raised multiple issues for discussion.

You said that the future depends on Russia and China, but this is only partly true. The future of humankind depends on the whole of humanity. Certainly, Russia and China are important components of modern civilisation. We have our own views on how we should develop. Certainly, our advancement will influence the advancement of all partners on the planet. We believe that development should be constructive and peaceful, no doubt about it. Apart from our interests, it should heed the interests of all parties to international interaction.

Of course, it is necessary to strengthen the emerging multipolar world. There is absolutely no doubt that a new world is taking shape before our eyes and becoming multipolar. I believe all the people are aware of this. It is important that those who are trying to maintain their monopoly on making decisions on all issues globally should realise this (I believe that they do realise it perfectly well). Understanding this, they should do everything possible to facilitate this natural process. I repeat, this process should be peaceful and conflict-free, with the opinions of all parties to the international process fully considered. All of us should seek compromises while making the difficult decisions that lie ahead.

We are committed to this approach and to precisely this kind of work. I have discussed this repeatedly, and the President of China has also emphasised this: our interaction, cooperation and strategic partnership with China, Russia-China partnership, is not directed against anyone. Our aim is solely to create better conditions for the development of our countries to improve the well-being of the peoples of China and the Russian Federation.

Question: How did your informal meeting with Xi Jinping go? Your aide said it took place in a super-narrow format but was attended by Defence Minister Andrei Belousov and Security Council Secretary Sergei Shoigu. Did you discuss Ukraine? What would you personally consider convincing evidence of Ukraine’s readiness for talks? Earlier both you and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov repeatedly said that the Western partners could no longer be trusted.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, this meeting took place in the narrow format. We really discussed many issues that are important for bilateral relations.

We discussed the issue of settling the Ukrainian crisis. The President of the PRC told me the main theses of what he discussed during his recent visit to Europe. He set forth his position linked with Chinese peace initiatives. We have said more than once that we believe that China is sincerely striving to settle this problem. It offers different options and is very flexible. I believe it is sincerely striving to resolve this problem. We discussed this at some length.

As for our counter partners, let’s say in this case these are Ukrainian leaders and their European and overseas bosses. Well, we have spoken about this many times.

When our troops stood near Kiev, our Western partners told us: it is impossible to sign documents when the other side puts a gun to your temple. “What should be done?” we asked. “It is necessary to withdraw troops from Kiev.” We did this. On the following day, they threw all our agreements into the dustbin and said: “Now we will fight to the end.” Their Western curators occupied the position that is now known to the whole world – to defeat Russia on the battlefield, to inflict a strategic defeat on it.

It wasn’t us who behaved in this way. These were our partners. Ukrainian officials confirmed this, in particular, the head of the Ukrainian delegation at the talks in Minsk and later in Istanbul, said this. The then Prime Minister [of Great Britain] Mr Johnson came to Kiev and advised Ukraine to continue hostilities. Mr Arakhamia, the head of the Ukrainian delegation, who now leads the ruling parliamentary party in Ukrainian parliament, said that otherwise all hostilities would have been ended a year and a half ago. He said this in public, I believe, at his meeting with journalists. Nobody actually had doubts about this.

So, let’s sum up this part of my answer to your question – we were cheated again. Now we need to understand whom and how we should deal with, whom we should trust and to what extent. Of course, we are analysing now everything that is taking place in this regard. Of course, we are looking at what is happening around the universally announced meeting in Switzerland, in Geneva. I believe this is the venue of the meeting. We are certainly not going to discuss any formulas about which we know absolutely nothing.

But as distinct from Ukraine, we have never rejected talks. It is they who have quit the negotiating process. They announced that they are going to inflict a strategic defeat on us. It is they who said they were “going to fight to the end,” actually not to the end but to the last Ukrainian. They did everything with their own hands.  We have a foundation for the negotiating process – what we agreed on in Istanbul and a signature of the head of the Ukrainian delegation under an excerpt from this large document. He initialed it. We have this document with his signature on it. What are these other additional terms about which we have never heard and know nothing?

The goal of this event is clear. They want to gather as many countries as possible, declare that everything has been agreed upon with everyone and then present it to Russia as a resolved issue, as an ultimatum. This will never happen.

Question: Keeping with the theme of Ukraine… Yesterday, Vladimir Zelensky visited Kharkov and held a general headquarters meeting there. At the same time, we are involved in heavy fighting near Kharkov and our troops seem to be gaining success.

Vladimir Putin: The word “seem” is wrong. They are gaining success. Each day, they advance in strict conformity with the plan.

Question: What is the plan all about? Are we going to seize Kharkov? Or does our objective consist in creating a sanitary zone, as you said earlier? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: I do not know what the head of the Ukrainian state was saying. The only thing I know is that (in the final analysis), they are to blame for what is happening. The origin of the current Kiev authorities is the coup d’etat [that occurred in 2014]. This is the source of the present-day authority in Ukraine. This is my first point.

Second, [Kiev’s] Western sponsors allowed the coup to happen by facilitating and orchestrating it. They created the conditions for a smoldering conflict to grow into an armed conflict. They are to blame for this. They are attempting to lay the blame on someone else and make Russia responsible for the current tragic developments. But this is the result of their own policies.

As far as the developments in the Kharkov sector are concerned, they are also to blame for these, because they shelled and, regrettably, continue to shell residential areas in border territories [of Russia], including Belgorod. Civilians are dying there, it’s clear for everyone. They fire missiles right at the city centre, at residential areas. I said publicly that if this continues, we will be forced to create a security zone, a sanitary zone. And this is what we are doing today. As for [the seizure of] Kharkov, there are no such plans for now.

Question: It has recently been reported that Chinese banks stopped accepting payment transfers from Russian banks. Did you discuss this issue with the Chinese leader? If so, have you reached an agreement? Have you coordinated a potential scheme of settlements that would be immune from Western sanctions? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Sanctions imposed on third countries engaged in economic activities are doubly or triply illegitimate because sanctions are absolutely illegitimate when adopted without the approval of the UN Security Council. This goes beyond common sense when it comes to third countries. Incidentally, the Americans or Europeans are even using such sanctions against their own allies. Europeans are not using them against the Americans, but the Americans apply such sanctions against European economic operators and often follow them through not only with regard to Russia but also against other countries in other situation. It is a common practice, and Europeans bear with this, proving yet again their vassal dependence on the sovereign over the sea. Well, whatever!

As for such decisions, they certainly do direct damage to the global economy, not just to the countries they are adopted against or their economic operators, but also to the global economy as a whole, including energy and other spheres of economic operation, and primarily the issues of settlements that are discussed by the economic operators. Solutions are possible, and there are such solutions. Of course, they should be supported at the level of governments, and I hope that this is how it will be.

The reasons behind the behaviour of large financial institutions are understandable: nobody wants to sustain losses because of US actions, even if they are illegal. However, I would like to repeat what I said before: it is silly and a huge mistake of the American political elites because they are inflicting big harm on themselves by undermining trust in the US dollar. They are gradually undermining the status of the dollar as a global settlement and reserve currency, even though they are deriving huge profits from this now. First, they adopted the Bretton Woods system. Then they abandoned the gold standard of the dollar and [formalised a floating exchange rate system under] the Jamaica Agreement. What is it based on? It fully depends on the money printing press, or putting it more gallantly, on the might and quality of the American economy. Yes, this is exactly how things stand.

All countries in the world trust the American economy, its might and stability, which is why they accept the dollars. This gives a huge and seemingly inexplicable advantage to the American economy and financial system. However, it can be presented in figures. According to our economists, it amounts to over 10 trillion dollars that have not been earned but are a gift from heaven that comes from the use of the dollar as a global reserve currency. Overall, the obligations of the US financial system to the rest of the world have been estimated at $53.4 trillion.

However, by undermining trust in the dollar for political reasons, the US authorities are weakening the main and the most powerful and important instrument of their might – the dollar itself. They are doing irreparable damage to themselves. Using one of popular sayings, they are quarrelling with their own bread and butter. This is thoughtless, but they seem unable to stop doing it.

The disadvantage of this for us is that we have to look for other solutions. However, there are also advantages, because it is unacceptable when one side is using financial and economic instruments to force its will on the rest of the world, including on the political stage. I assure you that all countries are aware of this; you only have to look at how fast their dollar-denominated reserves are diminishing. The world is responding. I believe that the [de-dollarisation] process is inevitable. We have started doing this, and it is a correct process. It entails certain shortcomings and problems, but it is correct in general, when we speak about making settlements in national currencies or creating other settlement instruments jointly with other countries. The process is underway; it has begun, and it cannot be stopped.

Question: Mr President, let me return to the subject of Ukraine and certain Western initiatives. You have mentioned yesterday’s lengthy discussion with Xi Jinping on this issue. Could you please tell us whether you touched upon Macron’s initiative to declare an “Olympic truce”? Do you believe an Olympic truce is possible now? Or is this another attempt by the West to lure Russia into a trap, especially amid its military successes? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, President Xi Jinping mentioned this, and we did discuss this issue briefly. What I think is, first, the principles of Olympism, including the Olympic truce concept, are very sound principles. There is a reason the international community has spent centuries working them out. True, few countries ever invoked this particular principle, with the exception of Ancient Greece, but in general, the idea itself is good and constructive. The issue lies elsewhere. It has to do with the current international sports officials themselves violating the principles of the Olympic Charter. They are politicising sport, which is absolutely unacceptable, because the purpose of sport is to serve as a platform for communication between people and for negotiating compromises on other issues, including political ones.

They are violating their own rules, now with regard to Russia, by excluding our athletes from the Olympic Games, not allowing them to display their flag, anthem, or national colours. They are violating the rules with regard to us, but they want us to comply with the rules that they dictate to us. Has anyone given this a thought? Is this in line with the elementary norms of justice? No. They are violating the rules but they demand that we comply with them. Well, friends, this is not getting us anywhere. No one has ever reached agreement like this. Before demanding anything or expecting others to do something, one needs to follow these rules.

Overall though, sports are certainly progressing, and this progress will continue. I don’t know how the Olympic movement will fare now, with such officials. If they put money first, if money is the only thing that motivates or drives them, if sport becomes a commercial enterprise solely aimed at making a profit, I cannot see a bright future for the Olympic movement. Look, sport has actually transformed into a for-profit corporation. What is their top priority? To raise money from sponsors and to have large information companies pay for broadcasting. This is just a big business profiting from sporting events. But the principle of Olympism is something else – it is about humanitarian values.

Question: This week, the US imposed duties on a number of Chinese goods – chips, semi-conductors, metals and solar batteries. Most important, it raised the duty on Chinese electric cars, I believe, four times, up to 100 percent. Can these moves be considered sanctions against China? Is Russia-China cooperation helping counter such attacks?

Vladimir Putin: Of course, on the surface, they look like sanctions but these are already elements of an economic war to a certain extent. This is not the first time they have been used. Incidentally, I can assure you that politics, the character of Russia-China relations and the situation in Ukraine have nothing to do with this. These are just elements of unfair competition.

We were making an MS-21 aircraft. We agreed on purchasing certain components that we had to put into its wings. These components have nothing to do with military production. They simply denied them to us by including them into a sanctions list. Indicatively, this list was linked with military production whereas the components we wanted had nothing to do with it whatsoever. Yes, we lost time and this production was pushed back by about a year and a half. But eventually, we made these components, these aircraft wing carbon fibre tows. We made them and they are even better than the American ones in quality and durability. The result will be the same in this case.

I have just explained at the meeting with students why such restrictions were introduced against the Chinese auto industry, against electric cars. Just because they have become better and cheaper than European or American ones. That’s it. They are simply killing competitors, in this case, the Chinese rival and do not let it into their market. This is a prohibitive duty. The same is taking place in Europe, of course.

As soon as some country, a global development centre, as we often put it, is developing and becoming more competitive, they stop it and put it down, they try to make it happen. Can Russia-China cooperation counter this in some way? To prevent this from happening, they are creating problems in financial items because we could purchase more. But we are restricted in purchasing these products because of money transfer problems. 

Is it possible to do something about this? Yes, it is. We will develop joint productions. This requires time, just as it was with aircraft components when we had to delay their production by half a year. This is the same case. We will go for joint production. This is the most erroneous and stupid way of building an international economic system. The correct idea is that the market decides everything and they were drumming it into our heads for decades, if I may put it this way – pardon the fancy language. But the market will still push them down. Do you understand what the point is? They are creating this problem for themselves with their own hands.

What will this lead to? They have introduced sanctions against various goods. What will it lead to? Inflation in the US. This is what they will get. Because they will try to make these products themselves, at their own sites, paying wages to their own workers, paying for their expensive metal and their expensive energy. This is the result – the German economy in Europe is already operating nearly in the red while the French economy is teetering on the brink of recession. If the German economy starts coughing and feels bad, the entire European economy will not feel quite well, putting it mildly. This is the result of such decisions. These are not market decisions. They are completely stupid and have no prospects whatsoever.

Question: Please, tell us at what conditions you would attend a peace conference on Ukraine in Switzerland if you should receive such an invitation. Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Well, politics does not know the subjunctive mood: “if only.” We will not continue. You know what would have happened there in other cases. But there are no “ifs.” They do not invite us. Moreover, they say they cannot imagine us being there. So what will we be [talking] about? “If you do this” looks like we are trying to get invited. “But if you do this, and if this is the case, then we would make these decisions.” Well, if they cannot imagine us being there, so much the better. This is first.

The second, very important thing, is that we are not going to discuss right away what we do not know. As I said, we had been holding painstaking talks for a long time, almost a month and a half; first in Minsk, then in Istanbul, and reached certain compromises. The Ukrainian side signed an abstract of these documents. The package alone is so thick, but the summary with the fundamental issues outlined there were initialed by the Ukrainian side. So, we worked on it. Now there are some formulas but what are they based on? Based on some wishes and not on the real situation. Well, it is impossible to discuss.

However, we are ready for discussion. We never refused. I have just said that, and this is not a joke, I did not make it up. As soon as the troops withdrew, the Westerners immediately told Ukraine: “Do not sign anything. Fight.” They snapped a salute and are following out. While we were immediately told, “Now we will fight to the last man.” This is what we were told. There will be no more talks.

Now they see that they cannot succeed. Perhaps they will be able to fight to the last man but they cannot inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, and they can see that. Now they are beginning to squeak . “Let us urgently convene a conference.” – “Sure.” – “Will Russia participate?” “We are ready to participate in peace talks.” “But we will not invite you.” Here you are, Good Lord, there we go. And Russia is being accused of being reluctant to take part. But we have not been invited.

You are asking: on what conditions? Why should I be proposing terms and asking to let me come where we are not wanted? And what is it that they want to do? Gather as many countries as possible, convince everyone that the terms proposed by the Ukrainian side are the best offer, and then present this to us as an ultimatum, saying, “You see, the whole world thinks so. Thus you must agree.” Is this a way to conduct substantive and serious talks? Of course, not. This is an attempt to impose.

There was an attempt to inflict a strategic defeat, but it failed. The attempt to impose will end the same way.

Remark: But still, as I see it, your condition is that the agreements reached must be in force.

Vladimir Putin: Of course. This is the basic condition. They initialed it, but the document was not fully signed. It includes very serious issues related to ensuring Ukraine’s security. They are worded in such a way that requires subsequent consideration. But overall, this is the basis. They have been initialed by the Ukrainian side. I think, not least, probably, if not under the diktat, then with the consent of their Western sponsors. But everything is rigorously worded there regarding their interests.

There is also something that has been taken into account concerning Russia’s security interests. There are a lot of questions there, which I do not want to go into right now. I remember if not all of them but all the main provisions. We are ready to discuss this. But then they dumped it because they wanted to gain an advantage on the battlefield and achieve a strategic position, which did not work out; so now they are handing out their terms. Have they gone nuts? Why on earth? Of course, we will proceed from the realities on the ground. This goes without saying.

Question: My question isabout China and supplies of our hydrocarbons to it. Has an agreement in principle been reached on the Power of Siberia 2 project? When will construction start: this year or next year? Have there been any talks about a possible increase in supplies?

Vladimir Putin: Yes. I am not ready to speak about technical details now, but both sides have confirmed their interest in implementing these projects. Since the Chinese economy is growing, it requires, accordingly, more energy resources needed to maintain this growth. Nothing is more reliable (I think this is clear) than supplies from Russia.

We have a huge common border, and no one will interfere here: neither sanctions against the tanker fleet, nor even sanctions against financial institutions. We will buy and sell everything in national currencies. Therefore, the interest on both sides has been reaffirmed. On the one hand, there is interest in receiving additional volumes, on the other hand, there is interest in selling on the Chinese market. This is always a complicated process, involving the question of prices, the question of who will earn and how much. However, strategically we are absolutely interested, both the countries, in implementing these projects, and we will move forward with them.

Gazprom and our oil companies will certainly come to terms. There are different routes. One of them runs via Mongolia, and both gas and oil pipelines can be laid in the same corridor. Specialists will have to decide how best to proceed. It is possible to use the Northern Sea Route. We can buy extra tankers and set up supplies via the Northern Sea Route, which is almost the same as the pipeline. All these alternatives are possible. They are all acceptable and economically expedient. It is necessary to choose the best ones. I am confident that this work will be completed as well.

Question: My question is also about Ukraine, if I may. Vladimir Zelensky’s term of office is about to end, it expires on May 20. Will Russia no longer consider him a legitimate president after that date? And would it matter to you, will you be ready to talk to him afterwards?

Vladimir Putin: We used to talk with him; we were in constant contact with him before the conflict entered the extreme phase of armed struggle.

As for legitimacy, this question must first of all be resolved by the political and legal systems of Ukraine itself. There are all sorts of options in their Constitution. This is a question of assessment. This assessment, of course, should be primarily made by the Constitutional Court and in general, by the political system of Ukraine. But for us, of course, it matters, because if it comes to signing some documents, we certainly will have to sign documents in such a crucial area with the legitimate authorities, this is an obvious fact. But, I reiterate, this question must be answered by the political and legal (juridical) systems of Ukraine itself. Thank you very much.

Question: Did you discuss with President Xi Jinping the fact that China had been invited to this international conference?

Vladimir Putin: We discussed this issue as part of the package. Thank you very much for your attention.

Question: Mr Putin, what about the French army in Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin: I am not the president of France. Why are you asking me this? I am not the one to make this decision.

Question: Mr Macron has repeatedly conveyed that he was ready to send troops there. If regular French troops move to Ukraine, will it mean a direct conflict, a war with the French?

Vladimir Putin: First, you should have him answer your question about the French troops in Ukraine. Once you get the answer, we will start considering the consequences of this step.

Question: Mr Putin, may I ask about the figure of [Defence Minister Andrei] Belousov? Excuse me, please, this is my last question. Why was Belousov appointed the Defence Minister? We are now at a critical juncture of the special military operation.

Vladimir Putin: I covered that already. Mr Peskov covered that, too, because I asked him to do so. I will go over it again.

This year, the level of defence spending for the Defence Ministry alone amounted to 6.7 percent of GDP. If you combine that with the amounts spent on law enforcement and security agencies, the total amount will slightly exceed 8 percent. The Defence Ministry accounts for the bulk of the spending meaning that the amount of spending of law enforcement and security agencies depends on how much the Defence Ministry spends. The Defence Ministry is the first to make purchases followed by law enforcement and security agencies. Their choices depend on the Defence Ministry’s choices. In addition, the Defence Ministry is charged with building the national defence system which is does with the enlistment of other security agencies. Their spending depends on that, too.

So, with the Defence Ministry spending 6.7 percent, and the total defence and security spending coming at slightly over 8 percent, this amount of spending is not critical. Defence spending in the Soviet Union in 1985–1986 stood at 13 percent. Taking into account the state of the economy, macroeconomic indicators, and budget revenue forecasts, combined defence and security spending at slightly 8 percent is not critical and is absolutely safe. Experts are even saying it could be larger since the budget is robust enough to handle that. But this level of spending is what we currently have.

As you are aware, Mr Belousov served as the Minister of Economy. He is considered a good economist, one of the best in the country. He was my aide on economic matters. He also served as the First Deputy Prime Minister. In this sense, he is, without a doubt, able to coordinate the Defence Ministry’s work with other ministries and agencies, as well as the regions. This is important as well. I am talking not only about the border regions, but other regions as well, because they, too, to a certain extent, are economic agents. This is my first point.

My second point covers his mission. He must open the Defence Ministry to constructive interaction with the research centres and economic agents in the broad sense of the word, the manufacturers of the military-technical products and components that are needed for the production of military equipment. His job is to open the Defence Ministry to innovation.

Indeed, Mr Shoigu has taken the initial steps towards this end. However, I believe that given his job functions in the recent past, the former Deputy Prime Minister will find it easier to accomplish this. These were the motives behind appointing him to this position.

You all saw Mr Shoigu – it was widely covered – often visit and tour enterprises. He is fully aware of what is going on. He knows what the Armed Forces need in the medium and short term, and knows our industrial capabilities. To a certain extent, he was involved in the contacts with our foreign defence cooperation partners, because the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation was under the Defence Ministry, and he oversaw it.

Considering this, he will have an enormous layer of work to deal with. It is all combined now. If you paid attention, I supported the idea of appointing Mr Manturov First Deputy Prime Minister precisely because we plan to focus the administrative resources on achieving the main objective facing the country today which is gaining the special military operation results that we need. Thank you very much.


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