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Ukraine holds roundtable on Belt and Road Initiative

KIEV, June 8 (Xinhua) -- About 30 Ukrainian experts held a roundtable in Kiev on Friday to discuss Ukraine' s role in building the China-proposed modern Silk Road.

The roundtable themed "Belt and Road: potential for Ukraine" was organized by the Ukrainian Institute for the Future and the Ukrainian Association of Sinologists.

It brought together Ukrainian international relations experts, sinologists, scientists, economists and representatives of business community.

At the first part of the event, which was aired live to internet users, eight experts have presented their scientific reports on the Belt and Road to better inform the Ukrainian public about the goals and objectives of the Initiative.

Then, all experts present at the event held a professional discussion on China-Ukraine cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. They also exchanged their views on the projected economic effect from the Initiative for Ukraine.

While speaking with Xinhua during the event, Viktor Kiktenko, the head of Ukrainian Association of Sinologists, spoke highly of the Belt and Road Initiative, saying it provides equal cooperation opportunities for all participating countries.

"The prospects on the China-proposed Silk Road have long been open to everyone. This is an inclusive project that involves all the interested parties," Kiktenko said.

He mentioned that Ukraine and China are developing their cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, particularly in such areas as transport and logistics, agriculture and industry.

"Me personally and other experts are hoping that Ukraine will manage to take the rightful place and tap its potential in this global geo-economic project," Kiktenko said.

In December 2017, China and Ukraine signed an action plan on jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.

According to local experts, currently, the Belt and Road Initiative is gaining increasing popularity in Ukraine and Ukrainians are becoming more aware of its benefits and goals.

"In Ukraine, there is a growing understanding that the Belt and Road is not only a landmark transport and logistics project, but also a new philosophy of interaction for the states," Andriy Goncharuk, a senior researcher at the National Institute for Strategic Studies, told Xinhua during the roundtable.

In the same time, he pointed that much work for Ukraine lies ahead to enhance its role as a link on the modern Silk Road. An important component of this work is the development of relations with China, the expert noted.

"First of all, each ministry and each institution should establish a position of Chinese-speaking professional. There should be government officials, whose professional responsibility would be the development of Ukrainian-Chinese relations," Goncharuk said.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

In the past five years, China signed cooperation agreements on the development of the Initiative with over 80 countries and international organizations, while more than 100 countries and international organizations have voiced their support for this Initiative and actively participate in it.


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