Russia: Russia, China seal economic pacts amid Western criticism

BEIJING: RussiaHis prime minister signed a series of deals with China on Wednesday during a trip to Beijing, describing the bilateral relationship at an all-time high, despite criticism over their ties in Beijing. The West is at war in China. Ukraine pull back.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, the highest-ranking Russian official to visit Beijing since Moscow sent thousands of troops to Ukraine in February 2022, holds talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping Xi Jinping and Premier Li Cuong.
With the war in Ukraine entering its second year and Russia increasingly feeling the weight of Western sanctions, Moscow is relying on Beijing for support, much more than China relying on Russia, meet China’s oil and gas needs.
Pressure from the West shows no sign of abating, with G7 weekend statements pointing to both countries on a range of issues, including Ukraine. The G7 agreed to tighten sanctions against Moscow and called on China to pressure Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
“Today, relations between Russia and China are at an all-time high,” Mishustin told Li during their meeting.
They are characterized by mutual respect for each other’s interests, a desire to deal with challenges together, associated with increased chaos in the international arena and unjustified sanctions pressures, he said. legitimacy from the collective West”.
“As our Chinese friends say, unity can move mountains.”
Memorandum of Understanding signed includes an agreement to strengthen investment cooperation in the field of trade services, an agreement to export agricultural products to China and another agreement on sports cooperation.
Russian energy shipments to China are expected to increase 40% this year, and the two countries are discussing the supply of technological equipment to Russia, Interfax news agency reported.
“With sanctions against Russia providing new opportunities for China, it is not surprising that China is willing to engage actively, if not actively, with Russia economically, as long as is that any relationship they forge won’t trigger secondary sanctions on China,” Steve said. Tsang, director of the China Studies Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.
“China’s policy towards the war in Ukraine is to ‘state neutrality, support Putin and pay no price’, and the visit reaffirms that, especially the pro-Putin element,” Tsang said. speak.
In March, Xi visited Russia and held talks with the “close friend” President. Putinafter pledging “unlimited” cooperation just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, which Moscow called a “special military operation” to “denuclearize” the neighboring country.
Beijing has rejected Western attempts to link Moscow’s partnership with Ukraine, insisting that the relationship does not violate international norms, and China has the right to cooperate with any country. they choose and their cooperation is not directed at any third country.
China and Russia should seek to “upgrade the level of economic, trade and investment cooperation,” Xi told Mishustin, with energy as an area where they could expand cooperation.
Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, who held talks on Monday with Chen Wenqing, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China who oversees police, legal and intelligence affairs, said tightening ties with China is a strategic direction for Moscow.
Beijing has refrained from publicly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But since February, Mr. Xi has pushed for a peace plan, which has met with skepticism from the West and has been cautiously received by Kiev.
Last week, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, visited Ukraine and met with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during a tour of Europe that Beijing sees as an attempt to promote peace negotiations. and political settlement.
Li Hui is scheduled to visit Russia on Friday.


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