Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the China Belt and Road Forum

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said he agreed with Chinese President Xi Jinping that the Belt and Road idea “logically falls within the framework of multilateral efforts” to increase global cooperation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk side by side in a group photo shoot during the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 18, 2023.

Grigory Sysoev | AFP | Getty Images

In a rare international appearance since the war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed a live audience at the third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Wednesday.

In his opening speech, Putin invited other countries to participate in the development of the Northern Sea Route. The meeting marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative summit.

Speaking to 1,000 delegates representing more than 130 countries, Putin said he agreed with Chinese President Xi Jinping that the idea of ​​Belt and Road “logically falls within the framework of multilateral efforts” to increase global cooperation.

“In the European part of Russia, we form an international north-south corridor… It connects Russian ports in the Baltic Sea and the Arctic with ports on the coast of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean along the entire route from our northern city,” Putin said according to his Google translation. Prepared notes.

The Northern Sea Route is a 3,480-mile shipping route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans that extends from the entrances to the Novaya Zemia Strait in the west along the Russian Arctic coast above Siberia.

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In addition, Moscow is working with foreign partners to build railway lines from central Siberia south toward China, Mongolia and other ports in the Indo-Pacific, Putin said.

“Russia is the largest country in the world,” Putin said. “This is why communication between all partners is important for partner relationships.”

Russia has an area of ​​17,098,242 square kilometers The largest in the world.

Successful development of the NSR “would make Russia crucial to global trade and communications between Asia and Europe,” according to an analysis by the center. Foreign Policy.

Putin met with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on Wednesday in Beijing as part of efforts to strengthen their “borderless” partnership against the backdrop of the escalating conflict in the Middle East and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Putin added that the “One Belt, One Road” initiative is consistent with Russian ideas aimed at “creating a circle of integration where freedom of trade, investment and work is fully guaranteed.”

This represents Putin’s third attendance at the Belt and Road Forum, after the previous two were held in 2017 and 2019.

In his opening remarks, Xi stressed the progress made by the initiative, which he said would receive billions of dollars in new funds.

“The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will each establish a financing window worth 350 billion yuan (US$47.9 billion),” Xi said. This will be in addition to an additional 80 billion yuan that will be pumped into the Silk Road Fund.

Xi added that China will continue to deepen cooperation in areas such as green infrastructure and green transportation to support the international green development alliance in the Belt and Road Initiative.

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Xi and Putin are also scheduled to hold bilateral talks on Wednesday.

In the decade since Xi launched the Belt and Road Initiative, new investments in infrastructure have helped expand China’s influence in the developing world.

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