Russia and China vow to strengthen ties despite international ‘pressure’

  • Vladimir Putin and Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, vowed to strengthen ties between their two countries despite “pressure from the international community” ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Wang’s visit to Moscow, the first by a senior Chinese official since Putin ordered the full-scale invasion in 2022, highlights the deepening relationship between Russia’s president and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as the war drags into its second year.
  • Beijing has provided an economic lifeline to Moscow as western sanctions bite, stepping up its purchase of Russian energy exports. It has also increased its supply of technical components that Russia can no longer import from western countries because of sanctions.
  • As such, western diplomats are deeply sceptical of Beijing’s efforts after it failed to condemn Putin’s invasion, hailed a “no limits” partnership with Moscow and helped prop up the Russian economy.
  • Furthermore, Xi met Putin in 2022 but has not spoken to Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy since the invasion.

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