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Russia capable of becoming China's biggest energy supplier
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"Russia is fully capable of becoming the biggest energy supplier for China in upcoming 15 years," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said in Beijing on Friday.

Zhukov made the remarks in addressing the China-Russia Investment Forum.

He stressed that the two nations should especially expand energy cooperation.

Last month, the two nations signed an oil-for-loan deal, under which China offered Russia 25 billion U.S. dollars of long-term loan and Russia would supply 300 million tonnes of oil through pipelines to China from 2011 to 2030.

The two sides had also agreed on the construction of a pipeline from Russia's Skovorodino in its far-eastern Amur region to China's northeastern city of Daqing.

Although faced with the global financial crisis, Russia and China still achieved sound growth of economic and trade cooperation last year, Zhukov said.

In 2008, China remained Russia's second largest trading partner only after the European Union, while Russia ranked as China's ninth largest, compared to the seventh in 2007, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

"The bilateral cooperation helped each other's domestic economic growth," he said, adding that the two sides would expand the scale and improve the quality of trade links.

Russia gives priority to improving investment environment, and creates favorable conditions for fresh investment cooperation with China, he noted.

Zhukov and Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang also attended the signing ceremony of five agreements on forestry and investment cooperation at the forum.

(Xinhua News Agency March 27, 2009)

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