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Sino-Russian ties set to strengthen
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An external strategy blueprint unveiled by Moscow will strengthen the strategic partnership between China and Russia, a senior Russian diplomat said yesterday in Beijing.

"Russia will continue to deepen its strategic partnership with China. The Sino-Russian cooperative relation has become a vital element to world and regional stability," said Igor Morgulov, the Russian Minister Counselor to China.

Morgulov made the remarks at a press briefing on Russia's new Foreign Policy Concept, approved by President Dmitry Medvedev on July 12.

The concept lays out the general direction and key priorities of the Kremlin's foreign policy.

"The newly ratified foreign policy paper is an extension of former president Putin's concept released in 2000," Morgulov said, adding that Moscow's fundamental approaches on key international issues have not changed.

One distinguishing point in the new policy paper is Russia defining itself as a "Eurasian power" for the first time, indicating that the Kremlin has adopted a balanced and all-round approach to foreign policy, Morgulov said.

In particular, Moscow is very keen to boost ties with emerging powers such as Brazil, India and China in the Asia-Pacific region, he said. Together with Russia, the countries are collectively known as the BRIC nations.

"The recent meeting of the BRIC leaders during the Group of Eight Summit in Japan held the symbolic meaning of potential cooperation," he said.

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