Vladimir Putin addressed the final plenary session of the 16th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, presidential web page reported.
As he pointed out, “Today, Asia, throughout its vast reach from the Maghreb and the Middle East all the way to East and Southeast Asia, is regaining its natural place in international affairs, which is commensurate with its great heritage and today’s undoubtedly vast and growing potential. The positions of the Asian states are becoming stronger in all areas, but mainly in the economy. The region already accounts for over a third of the gross world product. Living standards are improving at a higher pace than the global average. The most advanced technology is being introduced. The unprecedented scale of integration processes and globalization are drawing both individual countries and entire adjacent sub-regions to Asia.”
“Naturally, having effectively and wisely used the opportunities of globalization and having become economic leaders, the Asian states are striving to play a bigger role in world politics. This is an absolutely natural process. They uphold their own opinions on key international issues, treasure their independence and hope that their objectively increasing influence will be recognized,” he said. “Economic cooperation, which opens real prospects for sustainable long-term development for everyone, is the basis of equal political relations aimed at the future, including between Asian countries.”
According to the President, “It is impossible to develop trade and industrial cooperation and establish mutual exchanges in any other sphere without an up-to-date road, sea and railway infrastructure. We should think together how to speed up the establishment of such a Eurasian transportation framework, a real network of latitudinal and longitudinal trading routes.”
“Russia is open to this joint work and is already implementing such joint projects as the North–South trading route from Europe via Russia to the Caspian Region, Central Asia, Iran and India. Another route, Europe–West China, will connect Russian Baltic ports with Yellow Sea ports. There is one more prospective route, the Arctic–Siberia–Asia. The idea is to connect ports along the Northern Sea Route with ports of the Pacific and Indian oceans via roads in East Siberia and Central Eurasia. In order to implement this and add the missing links, we intend to speed up the construction of railways around the port in Sabetta (it is located in the north of Russia, on the Yamal peninsula), to accelerate and complete the construction of the entire Northern Latitudinal Railway project complex as well as the construction of the Kuragino–Kyzyl railway (Kyzyl is located in the Republic of Tyva in eastern Russia) to later connect it to the railway network of Mongolia, China and other countries in the region. We are ready to work with all interested parties on this initiative, which is significant for the whole of Eurasia,” he concluded.