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Both Russia, China Benefit From Completion Of Border Delimitation - Russian Diplomat

MOSCOW. July 31 (Interfax) - The Russian Foreign Ministry has denied allegations that Russia has incurred economic damage amounting to $3 billion from the complete delimitation of the Russian-Chinese border near Khabarovsk.

"It is not quite clear to me what economic damage is implied," Vladimir Malyshev, a deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry First Asian Department, said at a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.

"Both parties have only benefited from the border delimitation," Malyshev said.

"It is now, when there are no innuendos, that the potential for economic interaction is opening," he said.

Russia and China signed a protocol describing the location of the eastern part of the Russian-Chinese border as the final document concerning the delimitation of the Russian-Chinese border in Beijing on July 21.

The two countries plan to hold a ceremony to verify the passage of the border at that area, Malyshev said. "This is a crucial event in the two countries' history, and therefore such a ceremony is planned," he said.

"We expect that national procedures related to the ratification of the final document will be completed within the next month. In line with the agreement, China should first notify us about the completion of the national procedures. We will send our note in response. The two notes will be the documents confirming the coming into effect of the border agreements," Malyshev said.

Russia and China are discussing the format of the ceremony, Malyshev said. "Certainly, the authorities from the border regions will take part in this," he said.

The diplomat objected to using the phrase 'transfer of territory' in referring to the Russian-Chinese border agreement. "This foments jingoism. You are ceding our holy land, jingoists would say. There are enough jingoists on either side," he said.

In line with 2004 agreements between the Russian and Chinese leaders Russia will keep part of Bolshoi Ussuriisky Island under its jurisdiction, and China will hold jurisdiction over the other part of Bolshoi Ussuriisky Island and Tarabarov Island, which are known in China as Heixiazi Island and Yinlong Island respectively.

"The aggregate size of these territories is about 340 square kilometers. About 170 square kilometers go to China and about as much to Russia," he said.

it was too early to talk about the establishment of a checkpoint on Bolshoi Ussuriisky Island, he said.

As regards the possible joint development of these territories, "This will depend on local authorities, which will consider the appropriateness of this and appeal to the central authorities on this issue," Malyshev said.

Talking about the future of an Orthodox church on Bolshoi Ussuriisky Island, near which the borderline passes, Malyshev said, "China treated this issue with understanding, and the borderline was drawn farther from the church during the border demarcation."

The Russian-Chinese border agreements "reflect the spirit and the letter of the major treaty signed between the two countries and predetermines friendship between them," he said.