The China-proposed Silk Road Economic Belt initiative is not a competitor, but a partnership project for Russia, the country's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday.
"The project of the Silk Road belt is in no way a competitor for us, to some extent, it is a partnership project, which we have agreed with our Chinese counterparts," Medvedev was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti.
Both sides have agreed to combine the initiative with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) project, he added, while expressing hope that the alignment would be beneficial for every member state of the EEU, which grouped Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.
Earlier in the day, Medvedev arrived on the disputed Kuril Islands for a working visit.
The Silk Road Economic Belt, together with the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, commonly known as the "Belt and Road" initiatives, were proposed by Xi in 2013. The initiatives bring together countries in Asia, Europe and even Africa via overland and maritime networks, with the purpose of boosting infrastructure building, financial cooperation and cultural exchanges in those regions. The network passes through more than 60 countries and regions, with a total population of 4.4 billion.
During his visit to Moscow in May, Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement on the alignment of each side's development initiatives.
During the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Russia's Ufa in July, the two leaders agreed to take the SCO as an important platform to dovetail the two development projects, expand room for their practical cooperation, and facilitate development, cooperation and prosperity of the whole Eurasian continent.