Russia-China strategic partnership at all-time high
"This relationship is constantly deepened and developed for the benefit of our countries and our peoples," said Lavrov in a joint interview with the Chinese, Japanese and Mongolian media.
He said that Russia and China are interested in expanding cooperation and aligning the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with China's Belt and Road Initiative.
"Currently, an agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the EEU and China is being prepared, and a roadmap for priority integration projects is being worked out simultaneously," he said.
The diplomat also stressed the importance of regional cooperation between the two countries, especially involving Russia's Far East and China's northeastern provinces, and the Volga-Yangtze project.
"The regions along Russia's Volga River and the provinces on the banks of China's Yangtze River have a lot of interesting things to implement in the framework of joint projects," he noted.
While Russia and China are experiencing "some negative effects" due to a sluggish global economy, Lavrov said he believed that the decrease in Russia's trade turnover with China and other Far East neighbors was only temporary.
Moreover, Lavrov said that Russia and China have showed a willingness to establishing a free trade zone between the EEU and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), an idea initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"The upcoming accession of India and Pakistan to the SCO, and Iran in the future will make it a very powerful association, and incentives for growth in this huge space will be maximized," he said. ■