Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, during his visit to China, has stated that trade between Russia and China is expected to reach a new record level of $200 billion this year.
This comes when Russia faces increasing isolation from Western nations due to unprecedented sanctions following the conflict with Ukraine. As Russia has been largely excluded from the global economy, China has emerged as a crucial economic lifeline for the Kremlin, demonstrating unwavering friendship and mitigating the impact of Russia's exclusion from the global financial system.
In the previous year, bilateral trade between Russia and China witnessed a significant increase of nearly 30%, reaching a record value of $190 billion. This growth was primarily driven by China's substantial purchases of Russian energy resources. In the first four months of this year, trade between the two countries has continued to surge, registering a remarkable 41% increase, as reported by Chinese customs figures.
In the months preceding Chinese President Xi Jinping's alignment with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Xi's primary focus was not on Ukraine but on another country. His ambitions centered around forging a closer relationship with Putin to present a united front against the United States. The United States has since retaliated by cutting diplomatic trade ties with the Asian powerhouse. Chinese officials, foreign policy advisers to Beijing, and an analysis of public statements indicate that the outcome of this alignment was the declaration on February 4th of the China-Russia friendship having "no limits."
This declaration aimed to underscore the depth and breadth of the partnership between China and Russia, emphasizing their shared interests and mutual support. By presenting a united front, both countries aimed to challenge the influence and power of the United States on the global stage. This alignment has significant geopolitical implications and reflects the evolving dynamics in international relations.
It's important to note that the context and specifics of this alignment and its impact may vary and evolve.
Prime Minister Mishustin expressed confidence that the trade goals set by the leaders of both countries can be achieved this year, surpassing the $200 billion mark. This accomplishment would be one year earlier than the target established by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2019.
Mishustin emphasized that energy cooperation with China remains Russia's utmost priority, highlighting the significance of their partnership in this sector.
Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin held a meeting in Beijing, expressing their commitment to strengthening cooperation across various sectors. Mishustin highlighted the coordinated efforts to implement the agreements Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin made in March. The leaders emphasized the high level of relations and mutual respect interests.
Russia has become China's largest crude oil supplier, surpassing Saudi Arabia, and plans are underway for the Power-of-Siberia 2 pipeline to deliver more Russian gas to China.
Trade between the countries is expected to reach $200 billion, leading to increased purchases of agricultural products from Russia and expanded local production of cars by Chinese companies. Financial cooperation is also a focus, with Russia's central bank stockpiling yuan and facilitating transactions for a significant portion of bilateral trade.