October 17, 2023
BEIJING – Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative “a correct top-level design” and said it has made marked progress “because it aims to bring together the efforts of various countries to realize the goal of common development”.
Putin made the remarks in a recent interview with China Media Group ahead of his visit to China to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which will be held in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Calling the BRI a timely step, Putin said that Russia welcomes the initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping and is willing to work together with China to promote its implementation.
“Some people view the initiative as an attempt by China to control others, but we see otherwise. We see it as a wish for cooperation,” Putin said, adding that Russia’s vision of developing the Eurasian Economic Union is fully compatible with the BRI.
Asked about the changes that the BRI has brought to global development, the Russian president said that the initiative’s biggest strength is that “no one is imposing anything on others within the cooperation framework”.
He said that various projects undertaken for realization of common goals under the BRI framework are done in a way that is acceptable to all relevant parties.
This year also marks the 10th anniversary of President Xi putting forward the vision of building a global community with a shared future.
Putin said that Xi’s vision to build the Belt and Road is also fulfilling the vision of building a global community with a shared future.
“In my opinion, a distinct feature of President Xi’s and China’s policies lies in the fact that while recognizing the essence of the problems, they always maintain consistency and keep moving forward toward common goals,” he said.
When meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday in Beijing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Putin is looking forward to meeting with Xi during his visit to China.
Speaking about his personal connection with Xi, the Russian president said he has met with Xi more than 40 times and has many pleasant memories. “President Xi is a firm, calm, pragmatic and reliable partner. As soon as we reach an agreement, we can make sure that both sides abide by it.”
Recalling Xi’s state visit to Russia in March, Putin said it was “a very pragmatic visit”.