Putin: Eurasian Economic Union supports pairing with China’s BRI

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) supports pairing with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to achieve the Greater Eurasian Partnership, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during an address at the plenary session of the second Eurasian Economic Forum of the EAEU on Wednesday.

Around 2,700 representatives from some 50 countries attended the economic forum that began on Wednesday in Moscow under the motto: “Eurasian Integration in a multipolar world.”

The forum is designed to look at ways in which BRICS, the EAEU and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) can be expanded and possibly integrated.

Putin said the EAEU supports initiatives that are committed to developing the Eurasian region and will continue to work with China to promote the docking of the EAEU’s development with China’s BRI.

He said the world today is experiencing revolutionary changes and that more countries are seeking to build a new architecture of international economic relations that is fairer and based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.

He criticized U.S. economic policy, saying it is”shooting itself in the foot” by reinforcing a trend that undermines its own development. In this regard, he said Russia and its partners in the EAEU are interested in “honest, productive and pragmatic cooperation,” noting that anyone acting otherwise “damages the global economy.”

Putin then argued that the global economy will only benefit from the formation of a decentralized international financial system and that it’s important to coordinate efforts to form such a global system.

Founded in 2015, the EAEU is an economic union of countries located in Eurasia and consists of five member states: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.

Echoing Putin’s call for a decentralized international financial system, Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Snopkov said on Wednesday¬†that Belarus plans to completely move away from the U.S. dollar and the euro in trade with Russia and other EAEU countries by 2023.

Currently, the U.S. dollar and the euro account for about 8 percent of Belarus’s trade with these countries, according to Snopkov at the joint meeting of the House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic.

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