03:02 GMT +313 December 2018
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    This is How Russia Can Become a Hub for US, European and Asian Interests

    © Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt could become a basis for the Big Eurasian Partnership.

    "In this context, we also proposed that work on establishing the Eurasian Economic Union should be integrated with that on the Silk Road Economic Belt. This process could eventually provide a basis for the Big Eurasian Partnership that would involve a wide range of states of the Eurasian Economic Union, the SCO, and ASEAN," Putin said in an interview with Sputnik and the IANS news agency.

    By realizing its geographical potential, Russia could become a bridge between Europe and Asia and a "physical terrain" where Asia, Europe and America could build common interests for development, Italian political analyst Francesco Sisci wrote in an article for Asia Times.

    "Russian President Vladimir Putin has every reason to be proud of himself. He is a master of high geopolitical games. Moscow’s influence is more widespread than ever, possibly even greater than at the height of the Cold War," the article read.

    Involvement in the final agreement on the Iranian nuclear dossier as well as Moscow’s engagement in Syria have strengthened Russia’s role in the Middle East as a key regional player.

    Moreover, Russia has strong partnership with China in a number of fields, including trade, defense and culture.

    Russia is also actively building cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Region.

    "The European Union remains our largest partner but it would be inexcusable not to use the enormous opportunities in connection with the rapid development of the economy, logistics and transport processes in the Asia-Pacific region," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in September.

    "All these geopolitical successes, though, are possibly very weak, because behind them there is a failing economy," Sisci noted, adding that outlooks for the Russian economy are far from being optimistic.

    However, the expert underscored that Russia has great opportunities, not only in exporting geopolitical influence or oil and gas.

    "Russia can import capital and geopolitical influence within its territory and learn to manage them internally, not externally. Russia is a natural bridge between East Asia and Europe, the two most dynamic regions in the world," he wrote.

    This would make it easier for Moscow to attract investments from all over the world to develop its small and medium businesses as well as "its infrastructure 'highway' of communication and exchanges."

    "In this way, the economic growth of Russia would help the economic growth of the rest of the world and it could become the physical terrain where Asia, Europe and America could meet and build common interests for development," according to the article.

    Currently, China is implementing the new Silk Road infrastructure initiative, and Russia could score numerous gains from it, Sisci wrote.

    The new Silk Road is an ambitious infrastructure project aimed to transform the Eurasian economic and trade landscape. Moscow-based Oriental-affairs expert Vladimir Sazhin told Sputnik that the implementation of the project the Chinese call the “Silk Road of the 21st century” would expand Beijing’s economic and political clout to the giant area stretching from the Pacific Ocean all the way to the British Isles.

    The project, known as "One Belt, One Road," intends to construct an "economic belt" along the original Silk Road that led from China to Europe. The "Maritime Silk Road" links China's ports with those in the South Pacific, Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

    "Welcoming and managing foreign capitals for its development and the development of a Eurasian bridge that would include the US could be a way to capitalize now on its present predicament," he concluded.


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