Ever since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Western censure, the pro-Kremlin media has reassured its audience that Russia could not be isolated, and that the country would find other trading partners. China is often cited as an example of an alternate, trustworthy trading partner with which Russia can expand commerce. The first excerpt from the pro-business source Kommersant describes the recent construction of two bridges in the Far East that will link China and Russia and facilitate trade.

According to the article this was “ the first road bridge opened between Russia and China,” linking Blagoveshchensk (Russia) to Heihe (China) across t he Amur River. Construction began in 2016, and although it was completed two years ago, “the opening had to be postponed due to the pandemic.” The article also points that back in April, “the first cross-border railway bridge across the Amur River from the Russian village of Nizhneleninskoye to China’s Tongjiang was opened.” Citing a logistics’ expert, the article also reinforces the notion “that we [Russia] are experiencing a global drop in foreign trade volumes with the European Union, [so] we need any options for the delivery of goods from the Middle Kingdom in order to somehow compensate for the drop in import flows.”

The second article from the pro-Kremlin source National News Service describes additional economic measures intended to further strengthen Russia-China trade. It cites a Russian economist who asserts that “China can increase the volume of trade and investment cooperation. Secondly, it is necessary to develop cross-border cooperation, electronic commerce, scientific and technical cooperation.” To increase trade opportunities, the expert recommends “that it is necessary to move away from dollars in relations with China in the interbank sphere – to the ruble-yuan regime.” The article concludes by quoting the Chinese Ambassador to Russia who recently said, “that the world is now at an important turning point, promising that the Russian-Chinese relationship will only get stronger regardless of changes in the international situation.”

Source: Sabina Adleiba, “Россия и Китай навели мосты (Russia and China build bridges),” Kommersant (probusiness site), 10 June 2022. https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/5405772

…The first road bridge was opened between Russia and China…. Russia and China signed an agreement on the construction of the bridge back in 2015, work on it began in 2016. For three years, it was erected in parallel from two banks. The facility was ready two and a half years ago, but the opening had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

…The new bridge is two-lane, its length is about a kilometer, plus access roads – 6 km in China, twice as much in Russia. It is expected that more than 600 trucks, about 160 buses and about 70 cars will be able to pass on the new road every day.

In addition, at the end of April, the first cross-border railway bridge from the village of Nizhneleninskoye to China’s Tongjiang was opened. It also passes over the Amur River. The new route can significantly change this situation, Georgy Vlastopulo, director of Optimal Logistics, believes…. “Taking into account the fact that we are experiencing a global drop in foreign trade volumes with the European Union, we need any options for the delivery of goods from the Middle Kingdom in order to somehow compensate for the drop in import flows.”

Source: Evgenia Zheludkova, “Военные маневры и уход от доллара: Как Китай поддержит Россию в обход санкций (Military maneuvers and the withdrawal from the dollar: How China will support Russia bypassing sanctions),” National News Service (pro-Kremlin site), 3 June 2022. https://nsn.fm/policy/voennye-manevry-iuhod-ot-dollara-kak-kitai-podderzhit-rossiu-v-obhod-sanktsii

…China will significantly help Russia in economic terms if it decides to switch to rubles and yuan, said Andrey Ostrovsky, head of the Center for Economic and Social Research of China at the Institute of the Far East of the Russian Academy of Sciences…

“It will be more difficult to provide proper economic support, but there are a number of areas in which cooperation can be further developed,” he added…. “Here, firstly, China can increase the volume of trade and investment cooperation. Secondly, it is necessary to develop cross-border cooperation, electronic commerce, scientific and technical cooperation, there are many points here…”

“The most important problem today is that it is necessary to move away from dollars in relations with China in the interbank sphere – to the ruble-yuan regime….”

…The day before, Chinese Ambassador to Moscow Zhang Hanhui said that “the world is now at an important turning point, promising that the Russian-Chinese relationship will only get stronger regardless of changes in the international situation.”

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