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Putin hails Belt & Road Initiative, calling for Eurasia integration

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-14 15:55

Putin hails Belt & Road Initiative, calling for Eurasia integration

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in the National Convention Center in Beijing on May 14, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said here on Sunday that he salutes China's "large-scale" Belt and Road Initiative and called for greater Eurasian partnership.

Putin made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Initiative Forum for International Cooperation taking place in Beijing on May 14-15.

Calling the Belt and Road Initiative an example of cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, transport and industry, the Russian president said his country has supported the initiative from the very beginning.

He said the historical experience of cooperation between countries linked by the ancient Silk Road through Asia, Europe and Africa is important in the 21st century when the world is facing "very serious challenges."

Putin called for more cooperation to meet worldwide challenges like unbalanced development in globalization, poverty and regional conflicts, saying that Russia is working with its partners to advance the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), among others.

The integration of the Belt and Road Initiative, the EEU, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has laid the groundwork for building a great Eurasian partnership, he said.

Meanwhile, Putin urged concrete actions to materialize these existing initiatives by facilitating flow of goods, cooperation between enterprises of different countries, infrastructure construction and establishment of joint and large-scale research institutions.

He said the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China is "very timely and promising."

The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China in 2013 consists of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. It aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

During a visit to Moscow in May 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed an agreement with Putin on aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with the EEU, which currently groups Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.

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