Governors of Russia's Arctic regions met with Chinese business representatives and officials after Chinese leader Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow in March this year.
We are reaching a new level of partnership with China, Murmansk Region Governor Andrei Chibis said during a meeting with Shandong Port Group executives in September.
Shandong Port Group owns four major seaports in China's Shandong region. The purpose of the visit was to look at the local port development projects.
I am confident that we will succeed in boosting interaction with Chinese partners, Chibis added following the event.
In April, the head of the region met with Wang Wenli, China’s General Consul in St.Petersburg. According to the Governor, the trade turnover between Murmansk and China has increased by 140% over the last 4 years. Andrei Chibis noted the interest of Chinese partners in the Northern Sea Route and investment in shipbuilding in the Kola Peninsula.
Andrei Chibis is not the only regional leader of the Russian North who seeks to strengthen ties with China. Vladimir Uiba, Head of the Republic of Komi, is also keen on attracting Chinese investors to the region's timber processing industry.
On top of that, the Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region Aleksandr Tsybulsky in May this year expressed to General Consul Wang Wenli a desire to expand cooperation with Chinese partners.
Now is the ideal time for the adding of new impulses to our partner relation, Tsybulsky said.
Arkhangelsk Oblast is in a serious way changing its export policy and we plan a significant increase in supplies to China of wood products, he added.
At the same time, the smaller Nenets Autonomous Okrug is also taking steps toward rapprochement with China.
In March, the Governor of Nenets Autonomous Okrug took part in the discussion of joint investment projects in the Far North with Chinese businessmen.
In the new economic realities between Russia and China, these are our strategic and reliable partners, Bezdudy stated.
A few months later, the head of the region held talks on the construction of a new plant in the region with representatives of China Energy Engineering Corporation, the major Chinese state company.
The preliminary phase in the Nenets AO is completed, [and] our colleagues are ready to proceed with the construction of the plant and have come to see the site for the works, he said.
Besides, Russia seeks to further strengthen cooperation with China in the Arctic, especially in the field of Arctic energy, investments, research, and transport, including the development and use of the Northern Sea Route.
During the meeting between Russian Ambassador-at-Large for Arctic Cooperation Nikolay Korchunov and China’s Special Representative for Arctic Affairs Gao Feng in early September this year, both sides emphasized the strategic nature of the bilateral Arctic cooperation.
Source: The Barents Observer materials