Putin to play ‘active’ role in Belt and Road Forum, cites China partnership

By Lu Wen’ao Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/11 23:18:40

Russian President Vladimir Putin will play an "active" role in the upcoming Belt and Road (B&R) Forum in Beijing, Russia's ambassador to China said.

"Russia welcomes the B&R Forum," Andrey Denisov said through an interpreter. "Given the partnership between our countries … President Putin will play an active role there."

The high-level international forum, with the attendance of leaders from 29 countries and regions as well as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Kim Yong, will be held from May 14 to 15.

"We [Russia] applied to take part in all of the forum's events," Denisov told reporters on Thursday. "At each panel discussion, we would like to offer our views on prospects for integration cooperation."

The China-proposed B&R initiative was launched in 2013 to develop infrastructure and strengthen ties among countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

China and Russia share infrastructure development plans in the Far East region, with the two countries hoping to improve rail and road connections.

Xi and Putin are expected to communicate throughout the year, Denisov said.

They met at high-level international forums, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in June in Astana, Kazakhstan, the BRICS summit in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province in September and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vietnam in November.

Xi and Putin may discuss the Korean Peninsula issue at the B&R Forum, Denisov said.

He stressed that both China and Russia agreed to tackle the problem diplomatically instead of ways which increase tensions on the peninsula.

"Large-scale military exercises are becoming increasingly intimidating, inducing North Korea and other countries to take measures to defend their national security," the ambassador said.

But with newly-elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has a softer stance on the issue, tensions on the peninsula are likely to ease.


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