????Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli(R) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putinin Moscow, Russia, April 13, 2017. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)
????MOSCOW, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putinsaid here on Thursday that he is glad to attend the Belt and Road Forum for international cooperation to be held in Beijing on May 14-15.
????Putin made the remarks when he met with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, who was here for the fourth meeting of the China-Russia Investment Cooperation Committee and the meeting with the Russian chair of the China-Russia Energy Cooperation Committee from Tuesday to Thursday.
????China put forward the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
????China has viewed Russia as an important partner among the Belt and Road countries, Zhang told Putin, adding that the Chinese government will make good preparations for Putin's attendance.
????It is the strategic consensus reached by both Chinese President Xi Jinpingand Putin to integrate the Belt and Road Initiative and Russia's Eurasian Economic Union, said Zhang.
????China has attached great importance to Russia's initiative of the Eurasian Economic Union and related ministries of both sides are in discussions of concrete measures to boost the integration, the vice premier said.
????He called on both sides to speed up the construction of major energy projects, expand two-way investment and finance cooperation in order to promote the common development.
????Hailing the rapid growth of two-way trade volume since last year, Putin said the bilateral trade structure has improved.
????Sound progresses have scored on the Russia-China cooperation on major energy projects, said Putin. The east-route gas pipeline project and Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project have advanced smoothly, while the west-route gas pipeline projects are under negotiation, he said.
????Putin said Russia welcomes the active participation of Chinese investors into Russia's economic development.
????He also called on the two sides to explore new areas of cooperation in order to add new impetus into the strategic partnership of comprehensive coordination.
????During Zhang's three-day stay in Moscow, he also met with Igor Sechin, the chief of Russian oil company Rosneft and Alexei Miller, CEO of Russian natural gas company Gazprom respectively. The two sides exchanged views on further cooperation.