Russia and China’s joint efforts to integrate the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) framework and the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative will create great development opportunities for both sides and the region, President Vladimir Putin said in St. Petersburg Saturday.The Russian president made the remarks when answering a question raised by Xinhua President Cai Mingzhao at a meeting with the chiefs of the world’s leading news agencies on the sidelines of the 19th Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Chinese President Xi Jinping brought forth the Belt initiative in 2013 in a bid to boost cooperation between and thus advance the development of countries along the ancient Silk Road trade route.

The EAEU, which groups Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia with Kyrgyzstan having also signed the accession agreement, is a union dedicated to regional economic integration.

Dovetailing the Belt initiative and the EAEU’s development strategy bears immense significance to Russia and China, which will help strengthen bilateral cooperation in advanced technologies, transportation and infrastructure, Putin said.

The alignment, which will particularly promote the development of Russia’s Far East region, will also mark a key step in deepening Eurasian integration, he added.

Meanwhile, the coupling of the grand development strategies will provide development opportunities for Asia, Eurasia and even Europe, Putin said.

During the integration process, Russia and China will maintain the openness of their cooperation, and the implementation of related projects will always comply with universally acknowledged norms of international economic relations, he said, stressing that this is very important.

Present at the meeting were heads of news agencies from Russia, China, France, Spain, the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, Japan, India and Italy.

The three-day Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, which opened on Thursday and focused on how to address global and Russian economic challenges, gathered more than 6,000 participants from across the world.