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Chinese ‘belt and road’ fits with Eurasian Economic Union goals, Putin says

The Eurasian Economic Union groups Russia with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in a common market.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech (Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool Photo/AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech (Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool Photo/AP)

China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative meshes perfectly with the goals of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

Mr Putin’s comments to a Belt and Road forum in Beijing could ease concerns over potential tensions between China and Russia, given Beijing’s rapidly expanding economic footprint in Central Asia, which is seen as Moscow’s traditional sphere of influence.

Mr Putin told a group of leaders attending the conference that China’s moves “fit perfectly into our plans”.

The Eurasian Economic Union groups Russia with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in a common market that seeks to remove barriers to the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping (Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool Photo/AP)

The five member states “unanimously supported the idea of linking the construction of the Eurasian Economic Community” and the Belt and Road, Mr Putin said.

Separately, Mr Putin met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He visited Beijing just after wrapping up a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Russia’s Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok.

PA

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