Putin, Xi spotlight Russia, China cooperation in opposition to backdrop of battle


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese language chief Xi Jinping met remotely by way of video hyperlink Friday — a sign of Moscow’s newest efforts to strengthen ties with Beijing as Russia’s worldwide isolation grows within the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

Putin burdened the significance of Chinese language-Russian relations on the world stage, calling them “a model of cooperation between major powers in the 21st century,” and mentioned that Moscow hoped to strengthen army cooperation between the 2 international locations.

Moscow has actively sought to spice up financial cooperation with Beijing after sweeping Western sanctions.

Russia and China performed joint naval drills final week, which Russia’s protection chief Valery Gerasimov described as a response to “aggressive U.S. military build up” in the Asia-Pacific region. And last week, Putin oversaw the inauguration of a gas field in Siberia that aims to boost Russia’s energy exports to China as the West has worked to cut its energy dependence on Moscow.

“Military and military-technical cooperation, which contributes to ensuring the security of our countries and maintaining stability in key regions, occupies a special place in Russian-Chinese cooperation,” Putin mentioned Friday. “We aim to strengthen cooperation between the armed forces of Russia and China.”

Putin, unaccustomed to losing, is increasingly isolated as war falters

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

“In the face of a difficult and far from unambiguous international situation, we are ready to build up strategic cooperation with Russia, provide each other with development opportunities, and be global partners for the benefit of the peoples of our countries and in the interests of stability throughout the world,” Xi said.

In recent years, Beijing and Moscow have found common ground over a shared frustration with the global dominance of the United States. Both Putin and Xi see Washington as a hindrance to their geopolitical and economic ambitions and have sought to forge a “no-limits” relationship that acts as a counterweight to American international primacy.

On Friday, Putin highlighted Russia and China’s increasing commerce partnerships, claiming that this yr Russia had change into one of many main oil exporters to China regardless of what he known as “the unfavorable external situation, illegitimate restrictions and direct blackmail by some Western countries.” He claimed that Sino-Russian trade is set to increase by 25 percent.

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

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

Moscow and Beijing are also mutually beneficial trading partners, with China importing Russian oil and gas, military technology and other mineral resources in exchange for high-tech Chinese goods. In 2019, Xi described Putin as his “best friend,” and since the war in Ukraine, the Chinese leader has swerved efforts to bring him in as a mediator between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

China has blamed NATO for provoking Russia’s invasion and has supported Putin’s security concerns, which Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi described last January as “legitimate.”

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