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ANALYSIS

Two issues dominate the agenda as Vladimir Putin makes his first foreign trip to Asia  since winning a third term as a President of Russia – foreign policy and energy.

On the first, Russia and China are facing calls from the EU, Arab states and the US for a more active approach to the crisis in Syria.

On Monday, EU President Herman Van Rompuy told Russia that World Powers need to “find common messages on which we agree”.

Of course, neither country has shown any sign that they will change their position which as time passes looks more and more like a stand.

Publicly, both nations have said that the crisis in Syria is an internal matter and that any intervention would be a breach of that country’s sovereignty.

However, there is also the spectre of Libya when at the time both felt tricked into backing regime change.

On the second issue, namely the sale of coal, gas and oil to China.

Well, bilateral trade between both giants reached $84 bn  last year.

And with the Russian delegation including six cabinet members, the heads of Russia’s  energy giants Gazprom, Rosneft and Transneft, and all the major names of Russian business,  is set to scale new heights.

If Putin’s predictions are to be believed – $100 bn by 2015 to increase to $200 bn by 2020.