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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Russia-China ties not a threat to other nations – Putin

The partnership between Moscow and Beijing is a stabilizing force in the world, the president has said

The close ties between Russia and China should not be viewed as a threat against any other country, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said as he arrived in Beijing on Thursday.

The Russian leader made his comments during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The trip is Putin’s first foreign visit since he was sworn in for a fifth presidential term earlier this month.

Read more: Xi lauds China-Russia ties as Putin arrives in Beijing

“It is absolutely crucial that Russian-Chinese relations are not ad hoc contacts and are not aimed against anyone,” Putin said.

“Our cooperation in world affairs is one of the main stabilizing factors on the international stage. Together, we defend the principles of fairness and the democratic world order based on the multipolar realities and international law.”

Putin’s visit comes amid tensions between NATO on one side and Russia and China on the other, with Western governments accusing Moscow and Beijing of aggression and coercion.

Russia and China are facing increasing pressure from the West over the conflict in Ukraine and Beijing’s activities in the Indo Pacific. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg recently described China as “the main country that is enabling Russia to conduct its war of aggression.”

China has refused to blame Russia for the Ukraine crisis and has instead argued that the continuing expansion of NATO and Washington’s “Cold-War mentality” are the root causes of the escalation.

Read more: Biden approves ban on Russian uranium

Beijing has repeatedly rejected Western pressure to join the sanctions against Russia, calling them unilateral and illegitimate. “Fueling the flames while shifting blame to others, this is just hypocritical and highly irresponsible,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said last month.

In a statement on Thursday, the ministry further stressed that good relations with Moscow are “conducive to peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world at large.”