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India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor ‘will only benefit us’, says Russian President Putin


Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Eastern Economic
Image Source : AP Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Eastern Economic Forum in New Delhi

After the ‘historic’ announcement of the India-Middle East-Economic Corridor (IMEC) by PM Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden among others during the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday reacted to the project, saying that it will only benefit Moscow.

“I believe this will only benefit us. I think this will only help us to develop logistics. Firstly, this project has been discussed for long, for as much as several years,” said Putin in remarks at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok on Tuesday, as quoted by the TASS news agency.

The Russian President once again took a dig at the United States, saying that he does not “see much sense” from them to be involved in the major connectivity project – aside from maybe from the perspective of business interests – that seeks to promote and enhance economic integration between Asia, the Arabian Gulf and Europe.

“Meanwhile, the extra freight traffic along this route essentially supplements our North-South project. We do not see anything there that can somehow interfere with us,” Putin further said, mentioning that the trans-shipment of cargo in UAE or Saudi ports under IMEC are important for “entire project economics”.

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor

Putin’s remarks came after India, the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor.

The initiative will consist of two separate corridors — East Corridor connecting India to West Asia/Middle East and Northern Corridor connecting West Asia or Middle East to Europe.

A railway line will be developed for better connectivity and to provide a reliable and cost effective cross-border ship-to-rail transit network to supplement the existing multi-modal transport routes enhancing transshipment of goods and services between South East Asia through India to West Asia or Middle East Europe.

This corridor will secure regional supply chains, increase trade accessibility, improve trade facilitation, and support an increased emphasis on environmental social, and government impacts.

Putin on criminal charges against Trump

Meanwhile, Putin at the EEF event criticised the “rotten” American political system and defended former US President Donald Trump, calling the criminal indictments against him as part of an “unfair political system”.

“As for the prosecution of Trump, for us what is happening in today’s conditions, in my opinion, is good because it shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others democracy,” he said.

Trump has claimed that he could resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict in a matter of days if he returns to power. “Well, this cannot but bring happiness. This is good,” said Putin in response. However, he mentioned that any ‘radical’ change in the US-Russia hostilities are unlikely to change regardless of change in American presidency.

Ahead of the 2024 presidential elections in the US, Trump faces four criminal indictments regarding his role in attempting to overturn the results of previous polls and hiding documents. Russia alsohas a presidential election next year.

(with agency inputs)

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