15:56 GMT12 August 2020
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    The statement comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in the second Belt and Road international forum in Beijing. The three-day forum, dedicated to China's initiative on trade and transport infrastructure development across Asia, Europe, Russia and the Middle East, started on Thursday.

    During the speech at the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road forum, Russian President  Putin argued that unilateral sanctions are a manifestation of protectionism and require effective reaction of international community.

    "It is important to work out an effective response to the risks of fragmentation of the global political, economic and technology space; to the growth of protectionism with frequently used illegitimate unilateral restrictions or, even worse, trade wars, imposed bypassing the UN Security Council being its most dangerous form," Putin said.

    Besides, he highlighted that the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) seeks widest cooperation with all interested countries and alliances, particularly with China.

    "The Eurasian Economic Union is seeking to ensure widest cooperation with all the interested countries and alliances, primarily with China," Putin said at the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road forum in Beijing.

    The president added that Chinese leader Xi Jinping's idea to integrate Beijing's Belt and Road initiative with other international alliances suited EAEU's plans.   

    READ MORE: China Showcases Cuisine, Traditions and New Venues Ahead of Belt and Road Forum

    During his visit to China, the Russian leader is expected to hold talks with many international leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will chair all the events of the forum and draw conclusions in his closing speech.

    Putin and Xi are set to focus, during they Friday talks on the Russian-Chinese partnership in trade, the economy and humanitarian sphere, as well on their cooperation in the international arena. The two leaders are expected to exchange practical ideas for the Eurasian partnership, which could include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Eurasian Economic Community.

    Also on Friday, Putin will meet with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah Sisi, who currently chairs the African Union. Talks will focus on the development of the Russian-African ties, among other things.   

    Putin's schedule for his visit to Beijing also includes meetings with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Myanmar State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi. Remarkably, this will be the first meeting between Putin and Aung. The exact dates of these meetings have not been revealed yet.

    The Russian president is also expected to conduct talks with his Belarussian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, on Friday or Saturday, while there has not been any official confirmation.    


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