Russia is foursquare behind China’s One Belt, One Road project and will actively participate in its implementation, President Vladimir Putin said during a roundtable meeting in Beijing.
Putin described the goals, outlined by his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, as large-scale, challenging, up-to-date and extremely important.
He also said that Russia wants to see China as a partner in implementing a transport revolution in Eurasia and establishing a greater Eurasian partnership to build a bridge between Asia and Europe.
Commenting on President Putin’s support for Beijing’s initiative, Moscow-based foreign policy expert Andrei Volodin said that Russia offers an indispensable transport corridor between East and West, and that Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway could also play an important role, along with the North-South transport corridor, which provides Southeast Asian countries, India and Russia’s eastern regions access to Europe.
“As far as I understand it, Putin also said that Western European and other EU countries could join these initiatives, which would ensure a shortcut from Western Europe to East Asia,” Volodin noted.
During a Moscow summit in May 2015, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping reached an agreement on integration between the New Silk Road and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with an eye to establishing multilateral cooperation between the EEU, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).