Chinese President Xi Jinping urged members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to deepen cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) promoted by Beijing. “We need to redouble our efforts to advance mutually-beneficial cooperation, including collaboration between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union,” the Chinese leader said in a video message to participants of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) plenary session. The ambitious multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the ‘New Silk Road’, announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to boost connectivity and cooperation between East Asia, Europe, and East Africa. It is expected to significantly expand global trade, cutting trading costs in half for the countries involved. The Chinese leader highlighted the necessity “to support the innovative development of the digital economy, jointly tackle global climate change, and promote social and economic development in the region.” “We need to form synergy to safeguard regional peace and stability,” Xi said, adding that all parties need to narrow differences and build consensus through dialogue and exchanges. He also called for comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, as well as working for a “harmonious and tranquil” world. Addressing the event, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is an integral part of the Asia-Pacific region and is open for mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries of the area. “Russia is open for mutually beneficial partnership with all countries of the Asia Pacific region,” Putin said, noting that the region has been at the helm of the global economy for years, showing greater rates of development than other major regions. And Russia, as part of the Asia-Pacific, will step up cooperation with states within the zone to boost this trend further. “Russia is an integral part of the Asia-Pacific region, and we will form powerful centres of attraction for capital and a new economy in our Far Eastern regions, creating spaces of opportunities for people to implement the most daring business ideas and business projects,” Putin said. He also noted that making Russia’s Far East attractive for foreigners will benefit the effective development of the economic potential of the region, which is Russia’s “absolute priority.” The sixth Eastern Economic Forum started on September 2 in Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East. The agenda of the three-day event focuses on the theme ‘Opportunities for the Far East in a World Under Transformation’.