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Putin arrives in Beijing on two-day visit

May 14, 2017, 5:41 UTC+3 BEIJING

The Russian president is to participate in the One Belt, One Road international forum scheduled for May 14-15

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BEIJING, May 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing on a two-day visit on Sunday to participate in the One Belt, One Road international forum scheduled for May 14-15.

Straight from the airport, the Russian leader headed to the National Congress Center to attend the opening of the forum. He is expected address the opening ceremony of the Beijing forum alongside Xi Jinping and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The summit will gather 29 heads of states and governments, as well as leaders of major international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization.

The Silk Road Economic Belt initiative (also called the One Belt, One Road project in China) was put forward by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2013. The project aims to create a transport, energy and trade link between Central, South Asia and Europe to intensify scientific and technical cooperation and deepen economic interaction among countries.

In 2015, Russia and China signed a declaration on integration of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt. Currently, the parties are negotiating details of cooperation.

"While putting the concept into practice, China views Russia as its key partner. Russia, in its turn, is interested in using the possibilities, offered by the Chinese side, to implement large joint projects, including for economic development of Siberian and Far Eastern regions," Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov has said.

According to the official, the Russian president will "unveil the Russian vision of perspectives for economic development on the Eurasian continent" and "will put forward a number of initiatives to create shortest, cost-effective and efficient transport routes through the territory of Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union to deliver cargo from the Atlantic to the Pacific."

According to the presidential aide, the Russian leader will hold talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the forum. Bilateral meetings with President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have been agreed upon. Several other meetings are currently under consideration, in addition, there will be some so-called meetings ‘on foot.’

On May 14, the Russian president would hold bilateral meetings with the president of the Czech Republic and the Greek prime minister. Later Sunday, Putin will meet with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. The day will end with a dinner banquet for the delegations of the countries participating in the Beijing forum, hosted by Xi Jinping.

Ushakov said that on the second day of the forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin was scheduled to take part in two roundtables, as well as in a working lunch of the delegations’ heads.

The Russian delegation comprises First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov and Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka. Apart from them, the delegation will also include prominent businessmen - Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov, oil company Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Basic Element company Oleg Deripaska, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriyev, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, the Volga Group owner Gennady Timchenko and natural gas producer Novatek’s CEO Leonid Mikhelson.

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