Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, the animosity between Russia and China has been dwindling. And now that China is giving away money to build infrastructure, through the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided he wants to get in on that.
Putin submitted proposals that include expanding Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway, developing a maritime route through the Northern Sea, and projects in the country’s Far East region.
AIIB President Jin Liqun said Thursday that the bank will take a careful look at financing projects in Russia adding that projects must have broad benefits.
“We would take a careful look at all of the project proposals (from member countries) to see if they are feasible and if we are financially competent to finance all these projects,” Jin said to reporters at the Russia-ASEAN summit in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. “Given the limited resources we have to be very much selective.”
“If the project can produce positive overflows in the neighboring countries then it makes more sense,” he said. He would not give a time frame for when Russian projects may get a green light from the bank.
Ever since western nations imposed sanctions on Moscow for its role in the Ukraine crisis, Russia has seen its access to many foreign financial markets curtailed. In response, Russia has been pushing for closer ties with Asia.
Putin has made developing Russia’s Far East region, which has land borders with China and North Korea and shares maritime borders with Japan, a priority, hoping to attract investment into sectors ranging from agriculture to energy.
The bank, which expects to lend $10-15 billion a year in its first five or six years, has cooperation agreements with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which allows for joint investments.