May.20 - In an interview by China's Xinhua news agency ahead of visit, Putin said preparation for an agreement on natural gas exports to China have entered ''the final phase''. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Shanghai on Tuesday morning in a visit to attend a two-day summit aimed at boosting regional cooperation. The plane landed at Hongqiao airport in China's financial hub of Shanghai in early hours at around 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Putin is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and the two leaders are expected to attend a signing ceremony followed by a media briefing later on Tuesday. In an interview by China's state-run Xinhua news agency ahead of the visit to Shanghai, Putin said preparation for an agreement on long-awaited Russian natural gas exports to China have entered "the final phase". A deal after nearly two decades of talks would secure the world's top energy user a key chunk of supply as demand for the cleaner burning fuel is set to surge. The Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia which is due to be held in Shanghai on May 20-21 aims to "promote communications and trust among relevant parties" and to "gather consensus and wisdom" in order to "solve pressing issues in Asia", Xinhua quoted Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping as saying.