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Through June, trade between Russia and China was worth $39.78 billion. Russian exports increased 29.3 percent to $20.34 billion, while Chinese exports to Russia were up 22.2 percent to $19.44 billion.

In 2016, trade between Moscow and Beijing grew only 2.2 percent to $69.52 billion. The countries have set a goal to boost trade to $200 billion by 2020.

In July, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the China Development Bank (CDB) agreed to establish a Russian-Chinese investment fund worth 68 billion yuan ($10 billion). It was created to make settlements in ruble and yuan easier.

Both Moscow and Beijing have repeatedly talked about the importance of payments in local currencies for bilateral trade.

The agreement was signed at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, while he was in Russia on an official visit.

The countries are also jointly building the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic. Over the past year, Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier.

China is building a new transport corridor to Europe as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (also known as the New Silk Road), which goes through Kazakhstan and Russia to Europe.

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