MOSCOW, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Russia and China will remain strategic partners in the long term regardless of the outcome of the upcoming Russian presidential election, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
"I am fully convinced that the development of relations with China enjoys a national consensus in Russia, and irrespectively of the outcome of the (Russian presidential) election campaign, Russia and China will remain strategic partners for an extensive historic perspective," Putin told Xinhua during his annual press conference.
Putin reiterated that China's Belt and Road Initiative is perfectly compatible and can be incorporated with the development of the Eurasian Economic Union and Russia's proposals on a broad partnership in Asia.
He highlighted the two countries' major joint projects including projects in the Arctic, liquefied natural gas plants, high-speed railway, high-tech sector and space sector, especially the promising prospects of potential cooperation in developing the Northern Sea Route.
"If we guarantee the use of it all year round, and I hope we may reach this goal quite fast, the circulation of articles between Asia and Europe will be more economically feasible than through the existing routes... Both Russia and China are interested in this," said Putin.
Speaking highly of China's fast economic growth, Putin said that decisions adopted at the latest national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) reflect a positive agenda of China's development, which coincides with Russia's pursuit in its own development.
"The innovative clauses in the Charter of the CPC indicate that China is striving to be stable while guaranteeing development and to improve the life of its people on the basis of this development," he said.
It is extremely important to Russia because China is Russia's major trade and economic partner and its strategic partner "in the broadest sense of this word," he said.
In the first three quarters of 2017, trade volume between China and Russia has reached 61.4 billion U.S. dollars, increasing by 22.4 percent on a year-on-year basis.