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May 15, 2017

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Russian leader calls for greater partnership

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin yesterday saluted China’s “large-scale” Belt and Road initiative and called for greater Eurasian partnership.

Putin was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

Calling the initiative an example of cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, transport and industry, Putin said his country had supported it 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 such as unbalanced development in globalization, poverty and regional conflicts, saying that Russia is working with its partners to advance the Eurasian Economic Union, among others.

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

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

He said the Belt and Road initiative proposed by China is “very timely and promising.”

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.

Xi said yesterday that China and Russia had played their due role in safeguarding regional and global peace and stability.

The two countries, which have been committed to seeking political solutions to the Syrian conflict and the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, have played the role of “ballast stone” in safeguarding regional and global peace and stability, Xi said when he met Putin on the sidelines of the forum.

Xi said developing and deepening bilateral ties are the strategic choice for both countries.

He called for all-out efforts to promote and safeguard bilateral relations despite changes in the international arena.

The two countries should deepen cooperation in economy and trade, energy and other traditional areas, while exploring new areas for cooperation, such as innovation and technology, for higher-level pragmatic cooperation, Xi said.

He also said the two countries should enhance strategic coordination, jointly promote sustainable and stable growth in the world economy, work toward peaceful solutions for international and regional hot-spot issues, and improve international governance systems to inject “positive energy” into world peace and stability.

Progress has been made since China and Russia agreed to align development of the Belt and Road initiative with the EEU, and pragmatic cooperation should be pushed forward for tangible outcomes, Xi said.

The two countries’ active communication and coordination as well as mutual support on major international issues have become important stabilizing factors for the international community, Putin said.


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