Russian and Chinese presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping meet ahead of the BRICS summit in the Russian city of Ufa. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday (July 8) ahead of the annual BRICS summit and Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. Putin thanked the Chinese leader for attending the summits. "Thank you for agreeing to take part in the summits of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in this Russian region. It is one of the most beautiful parts of our country. I hope you will like it," he said. Xi said he was happy to visit a new destination in Russia. "Dear Mr. President, my old friend. I am very happy to meet with you once again, as well as to see my other old friends. I indeed came to Ufa in a very good mood, because many colleagues asked me, where exactly is Ufa? This is my first ever trip (to Ufa)." The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa came to the city of Ufa nearly 1,170 kilometers (730 miles) southeast of Moscow for a two-day summit starting on Wednesday. At the meeting the BRICS emerging economies will launch a development bank with an initial $50 billion in capital, as well as aim to put the last touches to a $100-billion contingency currency reserves pool. The BRICS account for a fifth of the world's economic output and 40 percent of its population. The pool and New Development Bank are central to their efforts to reshape the Western-dominated financial system. Putin hopes the summit will help reduce Western dominance of world financial institutions and show Moscow is not isolated. The unity of the BRICS nations is important for Putin in his standoff with the West over Ukraine, especially as Russia suffered the symbolic blow of being suspended from the Group of Eight industrial powers over its seizure of the Crimea region. But independent foreign policy experts say the BRICS group is still a long way from achieving its main goals and Russian ties with China remain less developed than Moscow would like.