Russia and China showed deepening relations in a series of meetings on Wednesday that were closely watched for signs that Beijing may be offering the Kremlin more help in its war in Ukraine.
The visit to Moscow by Wang Yi, the most prominent foreign policy official within the Chinese Communist Party, comes as the conflict in Ukraine continues to upend the world’s geopolitical order.
Relations between Russia and the West are at their lowest point since the Cold War, and ties between China and the United States are also under severe strain. Moscow this week suspended its participation in its last nuclear treaty with Washington, and the United States has expressed concern that China is sending weapons and munitions to Russia.
At the start of his meeting with Wang, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the relations between the two countries, adding that the Kremlin hopes that Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Russia.
Putin noted the growing international tensions, adding that “in this content, the cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation in the global arena is particularly important to stabilize the international situation.”
Wang stated that “China-Russia relations are not against third parties and are certainly not subject to pressure from third parties.” Even so, the war and the way in which it has caused the union between Western countries and their disagreements with Russia cast a shadow over the meeting.
For example, Wang stressed that Russia and China support “multipolarity and democratization of international relations,” a reference to their common goal of countering perceived US hegemony in the international arena.
Hours earlier, Wang held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who noted that “our relations have continued to develop dynamically, and despite intense turbulence on the global stage, we have shown a willingness to speak out in defense of mutual interests.”
Wang responded in a similar way, emphasizing China’s desire to deepen its ties with Russia, relations that he said have “no limit.”
China has refused to criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, repeating Russia’s claims that the West and NATO are to blame, and has also strongly criticized Western sanctions against Russia. Moscow, for its part, has backed China amid tensions with other countries over the Taiwan issue.
On the other hand, the announcement made on Tuesday by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow will suspend its participation in the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the United States and Russia will have an immediate impact on the monitoring of nuclear activities. Russians from Washington.
Putin’s decision to suspend Russian cooperation on nuclear warhead and missile inspections under the treaty follows Moscow’s cancellation late last year of talks aimed at salvaging a deal the two sides blamed on each other. to ignore.
In his state of the nation address to the Russian people, Putin said Moscow was leaving the treaty because of US support for Ukraine, and accused Washington and its NATO allies of openly working to destroy Russia.
The United States had already walked away from the treaty. During the administration of President Donald Trump, the United States refused to enter into negotiations to extend the nuclear agreement.