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Putin expects EAEU-China cooperation deal to come into force in coming months

The agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the EAEU and China was signed on May 17, 2018

MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin expects the agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and China to come into force in coming months.

"In May 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping and I agreed to bring together the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This truly historic initiative was supported by all leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union," Russian President Vladimir Putin told China’s Renmin Ribao newspaper.

"In continuation of this initiative, the Agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the EAEU and China was signed on May 17, 2018. We expect the document to come into force in the coming months and the sides to start implementing it without delay," Putin continued.

One of the first measures will be to set up a joint commission tasked with considering practical initiatives on interlinking the EAEU and the BRI.

"In our opinion, the priorities here are projects in transport, energy, environment, trade, finances, digital economy. I’m sure that in the wake of the upcoming second international One Belt One Road international forum in Beijing, in which I plan to take part, the integration processes promoted by our countries will receive a new powerful impetus," Putin said.

He said the sides should not only develop trade as part of the One Belt One Road initiative, but also cooperate in infrastructure projects.

According to the Russian leader, in the two years after the first One Belt One Road forum in Beijing it became clear that "Chinese President Xi Jinping’s initiative opens wide possibilities for equal partnership.

Putin stressed that participation in the project should be beneficial for all nations on the Eurasian continent, "to help increase their economic potential, competitiveness and the quality of life."

"To that end, we need to take into account the interests of all partners, to set the goal of harmonizing national programs and development plans. We need not just to trade, but also to promote mutual investment, carry out joint projects in infrastructure, logistics, environmental protection, spur industrial and technological cooperation, engage in scientific and educational exchanges, step up humanitarian contacts," the Russian president said.

Putin reiterated that Russia and its EAEU partners are working to create the Greater Eurasian partnership, a "wide range of regional integration bodies which develop in coordination, on the basis of principles of equality, openness, mutual respect and taking account of each other’s interests."

He said that China plays an important role in this process, because "in essence, creating the ‘Greater Eurasia’ means inter-linking the EAEU and the One Belt One Road initiative.".