“We cooperate [with China] in the security area,” he stated during his annual news conference, adding, “China’s armed forces are equipped with the most advanced weapons systems to a large extent.”
“We are even developing together certain high-tech types of weapons,” the president went on to say.
“We are working in space, aircraft areas. On planes and helicopters,” he continued.
The armed forces of the two countries also cooperate, Putin noted.
“It’s joint exercises, participation in joint international war games, joint patrols at sea and in air,” Putin said.
Russia and China have “an absolutely comprehensive partnership of strategic nature,” he added.
Russia and China stabilize global affairs by maintaining strategic bilateral relations, Putin noted.
“It’s an absolutely comprehensive partnership of strategic nature that hasn’t had precedents in history, at least between Russia and China,” he said, adding that “this hard day-to-day work benefits both Chinese and Russian people and is a serious stabilizing factor on the international stage”.
Putin said he’s on good terms with the Chinese leader.
“The President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping and I call each other ‘friend,’” Putin continued, adding, “We have personal relations of trust and they help to build relations in work.”
Trade between the two countries surpassed the pre-pandemic level to top $100 billion, Putin said. The countries also work together in nuclear energy, high-tech, space, culture and humanitarian area, he added.
“Asia is developing at a fast, efficient pace,” the president said, adding, “China is an undoubted leader of the global and Asian economy. Naturally, we are developing ties with China in this area.”
China is Russia’s biggest trading partner, Putin continued.
Russia and China engage with each other in reaching carbon neutrality by 2060.
“That’s the time until which we’ll supply all types of energy resources to China,” Putin stated, adding, “We are ready to continue afterward because our life and our country don’t end in 2060.”
That shouldn’t hurt carbon neutrality plans because it stipulates for the use of fossil fuels if emissions are properly absorbed, he said.
Putin also said it is the NATO countries that must provide security guarantees to Russia, and not the other way round.
Asked by a Sky News correspondent what guarantees Russia might provide it would not attack Ukraine or any other sovereign state, the Russian leader stressed that it was not Russia that created threats to other countries.
“Have we approached the borders of the United States or Britain? They have approached ours. And now they say ‘Ukraine will be a NATO member.’ Consequently, there will emerge [their weapon] systems,” he explained.
“You are demanding some guarantees from me. But it is you that must provide guarantees. You must do that at once, now, and not keep talking about this for decades,” Putin added.
He stressed that Russia was “outrageously deceived” when it was told in the 1990s that NATO would not expand eastwards.
“’Not an inch towards the east’, we were told in the 1990s. And what? They cheated us. They outrageously deceived us: five waves of NATO’s expansion. Now the corresponding systems are emerging in Romania and Poland,” Putin stated.
On December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry made public two draft agreements on steps to be taken by the United States and NATO to provide legal security guarantees. Earlier, Putin urged NATO to enter into meaningful negotiations on reliable and long-term security guarantees for Russia. He stressed that Moscow needed legal guarantees on paper because previously the Western counterparts had defaulted on the corresponding verbal promises.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media presidential aide Yury Ushakov had notified the US presidential national security advisor Jake Sullivan Moscow was prepared to enter into negotiations on draft security treaties at once. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov will represent Russia at the consultations.
Putin also stated Western countries have given no evidence to prove allegations about Russian blogger Alexey Navalny’s possible poisoning.
“You speak about a man who was allegedly poisoned. We have issued numerous official inquiries from the Russian prosecutor’s office asking for any documents proving the poisoning. Not a single paper, not a single evidence of this Novichok, or whatever you call it,” he said during his traditional end-of-the-year news conference answering a question from a BBC correspondent.
According to the Russian leader, Moscow suggested sending Russian specialists “there to work together.”
“I personally told the French president and the German chancellor: Let our specialists work, let us take sample, check grounds to open a criminal case. Nothing in response. Nothing,” he noted, describing the contacts on this matter.
“Stop talking about it. Let us turn over this page, if you have nothing to tell us,” he added.
Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20, 2020, after collapsing on a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. He fell into a coma and was put on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. On August 22, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital. On September 2, the German government claimed that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family. Russia’s authorities pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin and repeatedly expressed readiness for all-round cooperation to investigate this case.