Russian President Outlines Plans for Massive Eurasian Development
The speech delivered by Vladimir Putin at the Third Belt and Road Forum built on the renewed impetus for development spurred by the expansion of the BRICS group, as he focused on Russia’s planned transportation and trade corridors, which are to crisscross the entirety of the Eurasian continent. These routes, he pointed out, reflect “the deep changes that are ongoing in the global economy and the new role the Asia-Pacific and Global South countries and other centers of growth and development are playing now”.
Putin’s trip to Beijing and his three-hour in-depth meeting with Xi Jinping was taken up by well-known journalist Pepe Escobar in an article in Sputnik. He described it as “a graphic illustration of Russia-China co-hosting the drive towards a multipolar world”. The two Presidents, he wrote, “signed the largest deal in their shared history for the supply of grain; 2.5 trillion rubles ($26 billion) for 70 million tons of grain, leguminous and oilseed cargo delivered for 12 years”.
Even more impressive are the natural gas agreements concluded, as reported by Gazprom. While Europe continues to sabotage its own energy supply, despite soaring prices for European consumers, China-Russia trade in gas is growing very fast. In 2022, Russia sold 15.5 billion cubic meters of gas to China via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline. In 2023, this number is expected to reach 22 bn cubic meters. Under the extended agreements, the pipeline’s designed capacity of 38 bn cubic meters per year is expected to be reached by 2025, but will grow to 48 billion cubic meters shortly thereafter by implementing the Far Eastern Route.