Vladimir Putin to attend China's Belt and Road Forum event in Beijing
Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his consent to attend the Belt and Road Forum for international cooperation event to be held in Beijing on May 14-15.
Putin conveyed the decision in Moscow to the visiting Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on Thursday.
Gaoli is in Russia for meetings with the members of China-Russia Investment Cooperation Committee and with the Russian chair of the China-Russia Energy Cooperation Committee.
China put forward the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes, Xinhua news agency reported.
"China has viewed Russia as an important partner among the Belt and Road countries," Zhang told Putin, adding that the Chinese government will make good preparations for Putin's attendance.
"It is the strategic consensus reached by both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Putin to integrate the Belt and Road Initiative and Russia's Eurasian Economic Union," said Zhang.
He called on both sides to speed up the construction of major energy projects, expand two-way investment and finance cooperation in order to promote the common development.
Hailing the rapid growth of two-way trade volume since last year, Putin said the bilateral trade structure has improved.
"Sound progresses have scored on the Russia-China cooperation on major energy projects," said Putin.
"The east-route gas pipeline project and Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project have advanced smoothly, while the west-route gas pipeline projects are under negotiation," he said.
Putin said Russia welcomed the active participation of Chinese investors into Russia's economic development.
He also called on the two sides to explore new areas of cooperation in order to add new impetus into the strategic partnership of comprehensive coordination.
(With IANS inputs)