MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. Moscow highly appreciates the invitation extended by Beijing to Russian President Vladimir Putin to address the Belt and Road Forum as the event’s guest of honor, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said on Monday.
"We are grateful for the invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to take part in the third Belt and Road Forum as the guest of honor," he noted during Russian-Chinese consultations on public security, justice and the rule of law.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said earlier that he had invited President Putin to visit China later in the year at a time convenient for him because, this year, China will host the third international Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRFIC). The Russian head of state attended the first two BRFIC events.
The first Belt and Road Forum, which took place in Beijing in May 2017, brought together top officials from China, Russia and 28 Eurasian, African and Latin American countries. The second forum was held in the Chinese capital in April 2019.
The Belt and Road Initiative, a concept unveiled by Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to intensify international trade and investment projects involving a large number of nations and with the use of Chinese and foreign capital. As many as 152 countries and over 30 international organizations have already joined the initiative.