Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed on Tuesday that Russia and China gradually switch over to national currency payments in bilateral trade, expected to total $50 billion in 2008.
"We should consider improving the payment system for bilateral trade, including by gradually adopting a broader use of national currencies," Putin told a bilateral economic forum.
He admitted the task would be tough, but said it was necessary amid the current problems with the dollar-based global economy.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao described strengthening bilateral relations as "strategic."
"Mutual investment by Russia and China has already exceeded $2 billion, this is a very good index," Jiabao said.
He praised the success of numerous projects, including additional construction of China's Tianwan nuclear power plant and the opening of a joint pharmaceuticals center in Moscow.