For the first time after a 20-year-long interval the Treaty of Friendship, Goodneighbourliness and Cooperation between Russia and China created a firm legal base for long-term furtherance of relations of goodneighbourliness, friendship and mutually advantageous cooperation of the two great neighbours. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Igor Ivanov said this in the interview given the day before to RIA Novosti and the Chinese newspaper Renmin Ribao on the occasion of the first anniversary of the signing of the Treaty.
In the Minister's opinion, underlying this document is the "long and invaluable experience of the development of the whole complex of Russian-Chinese relations over the past few decades". Ivanov stressed that due to this experience "a year ago we summarized and consolidated the principles on which our relations are built, and designated the main forms and directions of interaction in different spheres".
Touching upon the principles of Russian-Chinese relations, the head of the Foreign Ministry of Russia recalled that in the Treaty "we speak of the long-term character of strategic partnership of the two countries". This means, the Minister explained, that "we are confident of continuity of friendship and goodneighbourliness of the peoples of Russia and China, and we know that the next generations will preserve it". In Ivanov's opinion, evidence of this is the complex of political and military guarantees to which one-third of the document is devoted.
The Minister stressed that "the absence of mutual territorial claims, as well as the mutual adherence to the principles of territorial inviolability and inviolability of the borders have been registered for the first-ever time in the history of relations of Russia and China".
At the same time, as Ivanov noted, the Treaty itself does not guarantee that from now on everything between our two countries "will proceed by itself". For this reason, as the Minister said, "immense practical work to fill the carcass of relations, designed by the Treaty, with live, real content" is in store.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia said that before the end of this year Vladimir Putin will twice at the minimum meet with the Chinese leadership. Furthermore, the leaders of the two countries will meet within the APEC summit slated to be held at Los Cabos, Mexico, in October.
It turns out that over the past two years Putin and Jiang Zemin will have held six personal meetings, the Minister noted and added that "never before in the history of relations of the two states the political dialogue was so intensive and deep".
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969