Russia 'highly acclaims, actively supports' BRI
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke highly of the Belt and Road Initiative and praised President Xi Jinping's "strategic judgment" of the world situation, in his latest meeting with senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi.
During their meeting in St. Petersburg on 20th of Sept, Putin noted that since Xi's visit to Russia in March, bilateral exchanges and cooperation have yielded fruitful results, and Moscow looks forward to strengthening the planning for and deepening of pragmatic cooperation with China.
Russia "highly acclaims and actively supports the BRI" and opposes the distortion and discrediting of the initiative, he added.
Moscow is willing to strengthen synergy between the Eurasian Economic Union and the BRI and promote the process of regional integration, he said.
He also told Wang that Russia, since the beginning of this year, has overcome the impact of unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western nations, and the Russian economy has started to resume growth and is operating normally.
Wang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, concluded his four-day visit to Russia on Thursday.
During the trip, he also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, to discuss cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
Wang told Putin that China is willing to work with Russia to take the important consensus of the two heads of state as the fundamental guideline, enhance strategic mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation and further consolidate China-Russia friendship.
China has been Russia's top trade partner for 13 consecutive years. Annual trade between the two countries amounted to a record $190.2 billion last year.
In the first half of this year, bilateral trade exceeded $114 billion, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Chinese Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui noted that in recent years, the two countries "have accelerated the synergy between the BRI and the Eurasian Economic Union".
"China-Russia all-around pragmatic cooperation has shown great strength in the political context and in tapping opportunities.… Economic and trade cooperation between the two countries is progressing in terms of both quantity and quality, yielding fruitful results," Zhang said in a recent interview with Chinese media.
Zhang Hong, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies, said, "The development of China-Russia relations has consistently followed the principle of not targeting any third party and seeking no confrontation or alliance."
Putin said that the development of the current international situation "fully echoes President Xi Jinping's strategic judgment" that the world faces changes unseen in a century.
He added that Russia is willing to maintain close coordination with China under multilateral frameworks such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS; resist unilateralism, hegemony and bloc-based confrontation; and safeguard international fairness and justice.
Wang said that China and Russia, as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, share an important duty in advancing world development and progress.
"The two sides should strengthen multilateral strategic cooperation, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the two countries, and make new efforts to make the international order more just and reasonable," he said.
Regarding the Ukraine issue, Putin reiterated Russia's willingness to resolve the crisis through dialogue and negotiation.
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