"There is an obvious trend towards closer cooperation with our Asian partners that has both economic and political causes. … I think western sanctions can significantly boost our cooperation," Timchenko was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
He also noted that Chinese companies were ready to invest in the development of Russian oil, gas and coal fields, as well as infrastructure, car and aircraft industries among other things. In its turn, Russia is interested in working in China.
The European Union and the United States have recently introduced a new round of sanctions against Russia, targeting the country's largest banks, energy and defense companies, as well as individuals.
Building on earlier measures, the sanctions target Russian access to capital markets, ban the sale of dual use equipment to nearly a dozen Russian companies, and add dozens of people to the list of those facing travel and financial restrictions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the use of sanctions ineffective and counterproductive. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized the EU and US decision and noted that making such decisions at a time when the peace process was stabilizing meant choosing a path aimed at undermining the peace process.