Russian President Vladimir Putin has echoed Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech in further boosting integration and connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and promoting shared growth, saying the China-proposed mega project and Russia's vision for Eurasia are similar in aiming to promote the peace and prosperity on the continent.
Speaking at the opening of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), Putin said Russia has said many times that the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi is very close to Russia's idea of Eurasian partnership, which is about integration.
The forum provides countries an opportunity to discuss issues including global development and international cooperation, and countries including Russia are very interested to listen to and learn about China's goal, development methods and its relations with its neighbors, Putin told the meeting on Friday.
The BRI is to strengthen cooperation and to provide harmonious development in Eurasia and these goals brings us together here in Beijing, Putin said.
President Xi just said he wants to align his initiative with other similar initiatives, alliances and groupings we have in Eurasia, and this is exactly what we want, Putin said citing Xi's speech.
Russia has been promoting the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) that aims to create transparent and convenient conditions for cooperation for countries on the Eurasian continent, Putin said. For example, Russia is working with Central Asian countries in creating a common market, conditions for free flow of goods and services and common digital space, he noted.
Putin emphasized that countries gathering under the BRI and EAEU share long-term strategic interests of peace and growth.
The concept of Eurasian partnership and the BRI are based on values that are clear to everyone. It's only natural for nations to pursue peace and prosperity together and to gain access to the latest scientific and technological developments for preserving their cultural identity, he stressed.
Putin also called on Eurasian countries to jointly tackle global issues. He said the growing trends of protectionism, illegitimate sanctions imposed that bypass the UNSC and even trade wars are slowing the world economy and creating new conflicts.
Eurasia can a positive role and be a role model in addressing these and other international issues, he said.