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Russia's president comments on One Belt, One Road concept's prospects

One Belt, One Road initiative put forward by China's President Xi Jinping five years ago has prospects and it should lead up to fair results when coupled with the implementation of the idea of Eurasian Economic Union [EAEU], Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the China Media Group in the run-up to his trip to China.

"We find this initiative to be useful, important and promising," he said. "It also matches our efforts to build the Eurasian Economic Union."

"But President Xi's idea, as far as we can see it, still has a more global character, as it implies broadening cooperation with all the countries and continents," Putin said. "We have an idea of Eurasian economic cooperation on the whole and I think they fit each other and can bring about fair results."

Simultaneously, he stressed the presence of promising plans in the sphere of industrial cooperation, as well as infrastructure plans for railway transport.

"These initiatives are very powerful and prospective and they will definitely lay a new groundwork for our collaboration," Putin said.

He also stressed Russia's plans to pool efforts with the Chinese partners in the new key areas along with giving due attention to the traditional ones.

Putin said both countries have the relevant ideas, plans and tested proposals.

"We know China has scored own successes, for instance in the Internet of Things and in e-commerce," he said. "But this won't be enough for all of us in the short term for successful development. We need digital technologies in the manufacturing sector, in infrastructure, in the energy sector, in power engineering, and in alternative energy."

Putin recalled that the One Belt, One Road idea intertwined the economic and humanitarian elements. As for the EAEU, an agreement on collaboration in the economic sphere between the union and China was signed on May 17 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

For the time being, it covers the cutting of fees but the sides have already raised the issues of economic policy, technological regulations, and phytosanitary control in its context.

"In essence, we're making a very important step towards the lifting of restrictions on economic cooperation," Putin said.

He mentioned the Chinese partners' interest towards operations on the Northern Sea Route, adding that already now China was Russia's foreign trade partner number one.

"Our trade grew last year to reach $ 87 bln and the first four months of this year saw a growth that equaled the figure for the whole of last year," Putin said. 'That's a very good rate and we must keep it up and accelerate further."

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 06Jul18]

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