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Russia seeks to align development vision with China on basis of mutual benefit: Putin

October 21, 2023 2:22 PM IST

Russia | China | President Vladimir Putin | Eurasian Economic Union

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia seeks to strengthen the synergy of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to promote win-win cooperation among partners.

Putin arrived in Beijing on October 17th to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), the most important diplomatic event hosted by China so far this year to mark the 10th anniversary of the BRI.

He has attended all three editions of the BRF in 2017, 2019 and this year, demonstrating Russia’s support for the BRI.

In an exclusive interview with China Media Group aired Friday, Putin praised the vision and results of the BRI over the past decade since its commencement in 2013. He said that the vision of developing the EAEU aligns perfectly with China’s BRI.

Established in 2015, the EAEU includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, aiming to optimize the flow of goods and services among its members. China is a major trading partner of the EAEU.

“The Eurasian Economic Union member countries received 24 billion U.S. dollars in investments as a result of Belt and Road cooperation. Isn’t it great? Each country, within a bilateral or multilateral framework, makes its own choices, seeking benefits and avoiding disadvantages without anyone imposing anything. Therefore, we welcome President Xi Jinping’s initiative and are willing to work with China to promote its implementation,” Putin said.

The EAEU and the BRI bear similarities in many ways. Both ideas give priority to the economic and trade cooperation among Eurasian countries, and focus on improving infrastructure in the region.

The EAEU is seen as a major player in the world’s energy, raw materials, and agriculture production sectors. The BRI, on the other hand, is set to bolster connectivity across the world.

“The number of mutually beneficial projects is on the rise. They are beneficial not only to countries that receive loans under this initiative, but beneficial to China as well, because China also achieves results from the implementation of these projects and gains conditions for better and greater development,” Putin said.

The BRI, referring to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was initiated by China in 2013 to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.

Over the past decade, more than 150 countries and 30 international organizations have signed over 230 documents within the BRI framework.

(Inputs from REUTERS)

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