Leaders of China and Russia to meet on sidelines of Belt and Road Forum

Leaders of China and Russia to meet on sidelines of Belt and Road Forum

Russian President Vladimir Putin will be one of 37 heads of state attending China’s two-day Belt and Road Initiative Forum

belt and road putin xi

Photo: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin will be one of 37 heads of state attending China’s two-day Belt and Road Initiative Forum in Beijing today.

Putin is expected to talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping about integrating the BRI with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, an economic grouping of Eastern European and Central Asian states. As US sanctions continue to make borrowing and trading in dollars difficult, The Kremlin has been pursuing EEU/BRI integration as a means of increasing trade with China, which could see an expansion of the EEU’s free trade zone to include the Chinese economy and BRI exports.

Delegates are also expected to raise concerns about the cost of Chinese BRI loans and investments, amidst growing concerns about debt sustainability. While Chinese investment has been strongly sought after, many are also seeking the ability to pursue direct investment in China, something Beijing’s stringent foreign investment laws hamper. Putin is expected to stress this in his talks with Xi as he seeks to increase investment opportunities for state oil and gas groups Rosneft and Gazprom.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.