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Russia And China Boost “Friendly” Ties As River Bridge Opens For Cargo Traffic

Russia and China boosted their “friendly” cooperation on Friday after starting cargo traffic on the first bridge on the Amur river to connect Russia with China, Russia’s news agency TASS reported.

The bridge across the Amur River links the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk with China’s Heihe. Russia, which is under sanctions from the West over its invasion of Ukraine, hopes to move more goods and further boost trade with a “friendly” country, China.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has designated most of the Western allies, including the U.S., all the EU member states, Australia, Canada, Japan, and many others, as “unfriendly” countries.

Commenting on the opening of the Amur river bridge, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev, said, as carried by TASS:

“In today’s fragmented world, the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe bridge between Russia and China has a special, symbolic meaning. It will become a yet another line of friendship, connecting the peoples of Russia and China.”

The bridge will boost logistics connections between Russia and China, and the border bridge crossing will become “a bridge of friendship and cooperation,” the Russian official was quoted as saying. 

Isolated by the West, Russia is increasingly turning to the East and seeking deeper ties with China.

In Asia, China and India have become the key buyers of Russian oil in recent weeks, after Europe—Russia’s top oil customer before the war in Ukraine—started to shun Russian oil and announced a ban last week on Russian seaborne oil imports, to take effect within eight months.

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Analysts doubt the Asian market would be able to absorb all the 4 million bpd of oil Russia was sending to Europe before the war, especially after the ban on seaborne oil was accompanied by a ban for EU operators to insure and finance the marine transportation of Russian oil to third countries.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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