MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Saturday to unite the Russian Northern Sea Route and the Chinese Maritime Silk Road and called upon the participating nations to join the initiative.
“We pay great attention to the development of the Northern Sea Route. We are considering the possibility of uniting it with the Chinese Sea Silk Road, thereby creating a global and competitive route connecting north-eastern, eastern and south-eastern Asia with Europe,” Putin said at the forum.
According to the Russian leader, this large-scale project implies close cooperation between Eurasia’s countries in increasing transit traffic, building port terminals and logistics centres.
“We invite the states [which take part in the forum] to join the initiative,” Putin added.
The Northern Sea Route (NSR) is Russia’s main Arctic shipping path, the shortest maritime passage between the Far East and the European part of the country.
China is hosting the second Belt and Road Initiative forum on April 25-27 in Beijing, attended by President Vladimir Putin. The forum marked the deepening of cooperation between Russia and China with the two nations launching a bilateral yuan fund as reported by Russian Direct Investment Fund.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a reference to the Silk Road Economic Belt, was launched by China back in 2013. The initiative says that its aim is to enhance “all-around connectivity through infrastructure construction,” explore “new driving forces for world economic growth” and build “a new platform for world economic cooperation.”