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    China's President Xi Jinping (4th R) meets with the guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in this October 24, 2014

    Russia Should Play Key Role in Silk Road Project – French Ex-PM

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    Russia should play a central role in the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative as Moscow is able to act as a stabilizing partner in a project that includes Africa and the Middle East, former Prime Minister of France Dominique de Villepin said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Silk Road Economic Belt, a megaproject aimed at connecting China with Europe and strengthening ties between Asia, Europe and the Gulf countries, was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. The Silk Road includes constructing new railroads, highways and industrial parks, as well as implementing large-scale energy projects. The Silk Road project will be partially financed by China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

    "The advantages of the [Silk Road] project will become evident very soon – it is important for Asia, and the European Union and Russia. At the same time it affects the countries of Africa and Middle East – the great part of the world that can also take part in this project. And Russia should play a key role here, as Russia, by taking part in such project may be a stabilizing factor," de Villepin said at Rossiya 24 television channel.

    De Villepin added that the Silk Road Economic Belt project is very promising for Russian companies from the point of view of all the infrastructure that needs to be created – including new railroads, telecommunications and pipelines.

    "It [the project] can certainly improve the situation in Eurasia as a whole. It will be a serious task for Russia and for China as well," de Villepin said.

    Late in March, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said that Russia welcomes China's initiative on the Silk Road Economic Belt and is ready to work with Beijing on its implementation.

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    Silk Road Economic Belt, Xi Jinping, China, Russia
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