Vladimir Putin: Border Demarcation Between Russia and China to Be Settled Soon

Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that border demarcation between Russia and China will be settled in the near future. "I expect the Foreign Ministries to find a solution," he said at the State Council session. The decision will definitely call for compromises, he pointed out. "Yet there are reasons to believe that in the near future the issue will finally be settled," the Russian leader announced.

This issue was raised at the session by Khabarovsk territory governor Viktor Ishayev. Thus, he spoke for working out a strategy for Russia's relations with a number of countries, including China. "Political and business elites believe that Russia once appropriated 1.5 mln square km" that belonged to China, Ishayev said. In this connection, China is now conducting "an active expansion", including the plans of "actual reclaiming of Russian territories" by Chinese, he believes.

This is also connected with China's domestic problems, where "the army of the unemployed exceeds the Russian population by 50%," the governor pointed out. At the same time, the Far East is witnessing an outflow of Russians: 1.2 million people have already left. Consequently, it is necessary to work out a strategy for strengthening the regions of the Far East, Baikal and Siberia and to create favorable conditions for investments, Ishayev believes.

The governor also spoke in favor of intensifying Russia's economic action in the Asian-Pacific region, for work to attract investments from the region's countries, such as Japan, China and the USA.

In response to Ishayev's speech, the Russian President emphasized that Russia and China had a strategy for developing relations. It is the Agreement on Friendship that was signed recently and is "a good solid basis". Russia has its own problems, just like China does, he remarked. At the same time, "it is important that we solve problems on the basis of consensus and mutual consideration of our interests," the Russian leader believes. "This approach has already been formed, we have had such experience," he said, adding that it "also concerns the issues of post-border demarcation." The countries are conducting "a positive dialog" on the issue, Putin pointed out.

The President also emphasized the need to analyze the events in China and to try to achieve acceptable decisions that would be in line with Russia's interests.

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