President Putin left nothing to doubt when he proudly proclaimed that Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union regional integration organization that it leads are strategically merging with China and its Belt & Road Initiative, with this process having unprecedentedly far-reaching strategic consequences for the supercontinent and 21st-century geopolitics as a whole.
This year’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) Forum is a monumental event bringing together several dozen heads of state and providing a platform for the international community to better understand this world-changing vision. President Putin gave an important speech during this event that can be summarized as his proud proclamation that Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAU) regional integration organization that it leads are strategically merging with China and its BRI. There’s no doubt that this process will have unprecedentedly far-reaching strategic consequences for the supercontinent and 21st-century geopolitics as a whole, which is why his entire address deserves to be analyzed in full. What therefore follows is the transcript of his speech interspersed with brief interpretations of the text in order to help the reader appreciate just how significant of an event this was and what his words might mean for the future of Russian grand strategy:
“President Xi Jinping, Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to thank my good friend President of China Xi Jinping for inviting me to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. I would like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to be here in such a large representative group and to meet with each other, to discuss current issues of global development and principles of cooperation.
I have listened with great interest – as I am sure many other people in this hall have – about the principles and goals of China’s development, that is, how the People’s Republic of China, the world’s largest economy today in terms of purchasing power parity, is planning to develop and build relationships with its partners. This is of fundamental importance both for Russia and, I am sure, for many of our colleagues who have gathered here in Beijing today.”
When China talks,