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Putin travels to China in search of endorsement of his policy towards Ukraine and the West

Putin, accompanied by Xi, reviews the troops upon their arrival in Beijing on a 2018 trip. / afp

The Russian president travels to Beijing to stage Xi Jimping’s support for his policy

Amid the current tensions over Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin will leave for China this Thursday to participate in the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics and meet with his counterpart in Beijing, Xi Jinping, in an attempt to achieve endorsement of its current policy of confrontation with the neighboring country and the West, and further strengthen ties with the world’s second largest economy.

The Minister for International Affairs, Yuri Ushakov, wanted this Friday to underline that there will be a joint statement highlighting the “common vision” of international security shared by both giants, unlike the criteria used by the United States, the European Union and NATO. , who accuse Moscow of preparing a military intervention in Ukraine.

“A common declaration has been prepared on the entry of international relations into a new era in which we will find a common vision of Russia and China (…) especially on security issues,” Ushakov assured. In his words, “Beijing supports Russian security demands,” which seek to eradicate NATO from Eastern Europe and prevent Ukraine from being admitted to its fold, but which the West has already rejected.

Indeed, last month Beijing called on Western countries to “take seriously” the “security guarantees” that the Kremlin demands and find a satisfactory solution. In addition, although China’s involvement in war movements that can be interpreted as supporting Russia against Ukraine is far from what is being observed in relation to Belarus, for example, it is true that the Navy and the Army of the People’s Republic they frequently participate in maneuvers organized by the Kremlin.

Ushakov revealed this Friday that Russia and China will sign fifteen agreements on this occasion, one of which provides for the creation of a joint financial system capable of dodging Western sanctions. Another will be dedicated to gas supplies. But he said nothing about the content of the other thirteen.

Along with Putin, the Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov; that of Energy, Nikolai Shulguinov; the head of the Rosneft oil company, Igor Sechin; and Ushakov himself, among others. No more than six members in the delegation, at the request of Beijing in the face of the worsening of the pandemic, instead of the twenty that the Russian president usually accompanies. Not even the director of the energy giant, Gazprom, Alexei Miller, has been included.

THE KEYS:

  • Back.
    Moscow affirms that Beijing supports its security demands and the eradication of NATO from Eastern Europe

  • Telephone conversation.
    Boris Johnson calls for the territorial integrity of Ukraine to be guaranteed

Putin and Xi held a videoconference in December a week after the head of the Kremlin had a conversation with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, about the conflict in Ukraine, in which he had to hear that an attack on Ukraine would be very expensive in penalty terms. However, the Chinese president’s words were much more comforting. He called him “old friend.”

intense activity

The top Russian leader met this week by telephone with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and on Tuesday he received the Hungarian prime minister, Víktor Orbán, in Moscow. This Wednesday it was the turn of the British chief executive, Boris Johnson, with whom he also spoke by phone about Ukraine. The conversation was not easy. As he already communicated to Macron and repeated in the presence of Orbán, Putin told Johnson on Friday that NATO has sinned with “lack of will” by refusing to “respond adequately to Russia’s security concerns.” He accused Kiev of perpetrating a “chronic sabotage” of the Minsk peace agreements.

In turn, the British leader warned his interlocutor that “any new incursion into Ukrainian territory would be a tragic miscalculation.” Johnson called on Putin to find a way out that takes into account the “territorial integrity of Ukraine (…) and its right to self-defense.” For London it is necessary to prevent tensions from escalating. An escalation that, according to the prime minister, “does not interest anyone.”

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