MOSCOW, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- China and its partners have made considerable progress in major areas of cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) over the past five years, a Russian expert on China said.
Alexey Maslov, head of the School of Asian Studies at Russia's National Research University -- Higher School of Economics, called infrastructure development the most successful direction of BRI cooperation.
"There has been a significant expansion of investment in infrastructure projects in Europe, Asia and some other areas," he said. "This also includes the development of infrastructure in areas where it was practically non-existent, for example, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor."
"Policy communication has obviously become more active," he added in a recent interview with Xinhua. "China has done a great deal to ensure that the Belt and Road projects are well-recognized and achieved this goal."
He pointed out that many universities have today introduced special courses to study the BRI.
The BRI, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. The initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Maslov described the agreement on trade and economic cooperation signed by China and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in May "a real breakthrough" that fully corresponds to the interests of both countries and lays a solid foundation for future cooperation.
"Today on the basis of this agreement, it is already possible to conclude contracts ... on numerous goods, from food to machinery and other technical products," he said.
Established in 2015, the EAEU is a grouping of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, seeking to optimize the flow of goods and services among its members.
For further cooperation, Maslov said efforts should be made in the technological sphere, including establishing joint tech parks and joint scientific laboratories, and the products from such cooperation could be marketed in third countries.