Saturday, May 25, 2024

Russia and China tout cooperation ahead of Putin’s expected visit

Russia and China’s top diplomats discussed strengthening their international collaboration during a meeting in Moscow ahead of an expected landmark visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Beijing in the coming weeks.

The two countries would continue “well-coordinated work” at the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which opened a new session this week, and other summits and high level meetings, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told visiting Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in opening remarks.

In his meeting with Lavrov, Wang said China and Russia should work together on the formation of a “multi-polar world,” adding that the two countries bear a “special responsibility” in terms of maintaining global strategic stability and peace.

“In the face of unilateral actions, hegemony and confrontation, China and Russia should … continue to strengthen strategic cooperation … and push forward the development of global governance in the direction of greater fairness,” Wang added, according to a readout from China’s Foreign Ministry, using terms Beijing typically employs to refer to actions from the US.

The readout appeared to allude to the expected visit from Putin to China next month, with the Chinese ministry quoting Lavrov as saying Russia would “prepare for the next high-level exchanges between the two countries.”

Russia’s war in Ukraine has shifted the self-declared “no limits” partnership between the two — making sanctions-hampered Moscow increasingly reliant on Beijing as its most powerful economic and diplomatic partner.

China has also attempted to frame itself as a potential peace broker and neutral party in the conflict, even as it provides an economic lifeline for Russia and has not called for Moscow to cease its onslaught or withdraw troops.

In a statement Monday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Lavrov and Wang agreed that Moscow’s interests must be considered in resolving the conflict in Ukraine.

“The parties discussed in detail the current state of affairs in Ukraine, noting the futility of attempts to resolve the crisis without taking into account interests and, especially, without the participation of Russia,” the statement added.

China’s summary only presented its position as “consistently adhering” to the direction of peace talks and noted its pledge to “play a constructive role” in a “political settlement of the crisis.”

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