Putin, Xi highlight Russia, China cooperation against backdrop of war


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met remotely via video link on Friday – a sign of Moscow’s latest efforts to strengthen ties with Beijing as the Russia’s international independence increased after the invasion of Ukraine.

Putin stressed the importance of China-Russia relations on the world stage, calling it “a model of cooperation between great powers in the 21st century” and saying that Moscow hopes to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries. .

Moscow has actively sought to strengthen economic cooperation with Beijing in the wake of Western sanctions.

Russia and China conducted joint naval exercises earlier this month, which the Russian military chief described as a response to America’s “aggressive” military posture in the Asia region- Pacific. And last week, Putin oversaw the inauguration of a gas field in Siberia aimed at boosting Russia’s energy exports to China as the West tries to cut the country’s energy dependence on Moscow.

Putin, unaccustomed to losing, grows increasingly isolated as the war falters

Mr. Xi said the leaders were in regular “strategic, close contact” and noted that bilateral relations between Moscow and Beijing had expanded significantly this year.

“In the face of a difficult and uncertain international situation, we are ready to build a strategic cooperative relationship with Russia, create development opportunities for each other, and be a global partner for the benefit of our peoples. us and for the sake of stability around the world,” Xi said.

He continued: “Military and military-technical cooperation, which contributes to the security of our countries and maintains stability in important regions, occupies a special place in cooperation. Russian-Chinese. “We look forward to strengthening cooperation between the armed forces of Russia and China.”

In recent years, Beijing and Moscow have found common ground about common frustrations with US global dominance. Both Putin and Xi see Washington as an obstacle to their geopolitical and economic ambitions and have sought to forge an “unlimited” relationship that serves as a counterweight to their hegemony. international owner of the United States.

Putin highlighted the ever-expanding trade partnership of Russia and China, claiming that this year Russia has become one of the top oil exporters to China despite what he called ” adverse external situation, illegal restrictions and direct extortion of some Western countries”. Russia’s trade is set to grow 25 percent.

Putin invited Xi for a state visit to Russia in the spring of 2023, saying the meeting would become “the main political event of the year”.

On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that after the opening remarks, the leaders would meet privately to discuss “the most pressing regional issues”.

Moscow and Beijing are also mutually beneficial trading partners, with China importing Russian oil and gas in exchange for Chinese high-tech goods. In 2019, Xi described Putin as his “best friend,” and since Russia’s invasion, the Chinese leader has abandoned efforts to include him as a mediator between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. . Since the February invasion, China has repeatedly blamed NATO for inciting the war and supported Putin’s security concerns in Europe, which Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi described before the meeting. aggression is “justifiable”.


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