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Chinese Leader Hails Turnaround In Trade With Russia On Visit To Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) greets Chinese President Xi Jinping at a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow on July 3.

Trade ties between Russia and China reversed a declining trend last year and have grown robustly in 2017, China's leader has said on a visit to the Kremlin.

"Despite the impact of such adverse factors as a sluggish global economy, volatility of prices for oil and other basic goods, the downward trend in Sino-Russian trade was reversed last year. Trade turnover amounted to $69.53 billion and grew by 2.2 percent versus 2015," Chinese President Xi Jinping said in an interview with TASS on July 3.

"The bilateral trade acquired high dynamics during the first five months of this year and surged 26 percent. It is expected trade turnover may be over $80 billion by the end of the year," Xi said.

With China already established as Russia's largest trading partner, Xi said the recent fast growth was just the beginning and he saw "enormous potential" for further growth.

He mentioned the possibility of developing an "Ice Silk Road" that takes advantage of thawing caused by global warming to establish a northern sea route over Russia.

"Investment cooperation is gradually taking effect and financial cooperation is deepening," he said, with Russia's central bank opening its first overseas office in China.

Based on reporting by dpa, TASS, and Interfax