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Russia and China strengthen defence cooperation

The development of a strategic partnership with China is an unconditional priority of Russian foreign policy

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Russia and China have agreed deepen cooperation on defence issues with a focus on holding joint exercises, Moscow’s powerful Security Council said on Monday.

“The sides agreed on further military cooperation with a focus on joint exercises and patrols, as well as on strengthening contacts between the General Staffs,” it said.

The statement comes as Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev visits China to hold security consultations and meetings with officials.

Read more: China backs Russia despite pressure from Washington

Russia and China have deepened cooperation in recent years, hailing s “no limits” partnership though Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged China’s “concerns” over the situation in Ukraine at a summit in Uzbekistan last week.

Not an era of war

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told Russian President Vladimir Putin that now is not a time for war, with food, fertiliser and fuel security among the major concerns of the world at present.

“I know that today’s era is not an era of war, and I have spoken to you on the phone about this,” Modi told Putin on the sidelines of a regional security bloc summit in Uzbekistan, adding that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue keep the world together.

Putin said that he understood Modi’s concerns about the Ukraine war. “I know about your position on the conflict in Ukraine, and I know about your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible.”

Putin, who met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit, acknowledged on Wednesday Beijing’s concerns about the war.

Modi and Putin spoke on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting, whose permanent members, besides India, include China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Read more: SCO Summit 2022: An Overview

“Our trade is growing, thanks to your additional supplies of Russian fertilisers to the Indian markets, which have grown more than eight fold. I am hopeful that this is going to be of huge help of the agricultural sector of India,” Putin said.

Reuters with additional input by GVS News Desk

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