Russia has been hit by unprecedented Western sanctions since it unleashed a devastating war against Ukraine and has been shut out of much of the global economy.
But China, which has declared “no limits” to its friendship with its northern neighbor, has thrown the Kremlin an economic lifeline, tempering the impact of its banishment from the global financial system.
Last year, bilateral trade jumped nearly 30% to a record $190 billion, mainly boosted by China buying Russian energy. This year, their trade continued to surge, up 41% in the first four months, according to Chinese customs figures.
“I believe that this year we will be able to achieve the goals set by the two countries’ leaders and bring the total trade to $200 billion,” Mishustin said during a speech at the China-Russia business forum in Shanghai on Tuesday, according to China’s state-run Global Times.
That will be one year ahead of the schedule set by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2019.
Energy cooperation with China remains Russia’s “absolute priority,” Mishustin added.