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Russia, China to ink deal on ballistic missiles

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MOSCOW (AFP/PTI): Moscow and Beijing will sign a range of agreements when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits China this week, including one on missile launches, the Russian government said on Sunday.

“More than 10 documents are being prepared for signing, including ... an intergovernmental agreement on notification of the launches of ballistic missiles,” the Russian government said in a statement.

Other agreements in the works include Russian-Chinese business deals and a memorandum of understanding on the “organisation and development of fast and high-speed train travel on Russian territory,” it said.

Putin is due to visit China from Monday to Wednesday, during which he is scheduled to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao.

On Wednesday he is to attend a heads of government meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security group dominated by China and Russia that has been touted as a counterweight to Western-led institutions.

The leaders at the SCO meeting will adopt an “important document” on joint efforts to combat the effects of the global financial crisis, the Russian government said, without giving details.

Besides Russia and China, the SCO also includes four ex-Soviet Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – while India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status.

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