22 C
Cape Town
Friday, March 24, 2023

Putin invites Xi to Moscow as Russia seeks an alliance with China.

Must read

President Vladimir Putin on Friday invited Chinese President Xi Jinping for an official visit to Russia next spring, as Moscow seeks to deepen ties with China amid growing international isolation over the war in Ukraine. Putin met with Xi via videoconference, saying Russia-China relations were at “the best in history”, expressed a desire to expand military cooperation, and invited Xi to visit Moscow. Without mentioning the war in Ukraine, Putin said he shared the same views as Xi Jinping “in the face of unprecedented pressure and provocations from the West.” “Dear Chairman, dear friend, I look forward to your official visit to Moscow next spring,” Putin said in an eight-minute introductory speech broadcast on state television. President Xi Jinping said China is willing to “strengthen strategic cooperation with Russia” and remain a “global partner for the interests of the two peoples and global stability.”

According to the official translation into Russian, the Chinese leader did not mention the visit to Moscow. President Xi Jinping said he would maintain an “objective and fair” stance on the war in Ukraine. The meeting was closely monitored by analysts for signs that China is reassessing its support for Putin as Russia’s war stalls. Since the aggression began, Beijing has tried to balance its support for Russia with a desire to avoid the indirect effects of Western economic sanctions against Russia. China, which has accused the West of fueling tensions in Ukraine, has halted arms supplies to Russia while Russian firms largely comply with unprecedented Western sanctions imposed on them. “Everyone wants to see if Xi Jinping regrets President Putin,” said Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “However, today’s call suggests that Xi has no plans to throw Putin under the bus. Relations between the two countries will continue to grow next year,” Gabuev added.

The week Russian troops reported a series of deadly bombings in the recently liberated city of Kherson. Late Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated earlier warnings that Moscow plans to plunge Ukraine into darkness before the New Year holidays. “Perhaps the enemy will again try to trick us into celebrating the New Year in the dark,” he said in his evening speech. Also on Friday, Belarus claimed Ukraine was trying to escalate the conflict. Minsk reported on Thursday that Belarusian air defenses shot down a Ukrainian S-300 surface-to-air missile near the village of Halbacha in the Brest region. “Kyiv is trying to provoke a regional conflict by any means necessary,” Alexander volfovich, general secretary of the Belarusian Security Council, told Russian state-run news agency Sputnik Belarus. “An example of this is the recent incident involving the destruction of a Ukrainian S-300 missile. There is little reason to believe it accidentally entered our airspace. A Ukrainian military spokesman said the incident was “the result of air defense”. Thursday’s incident came amid fears in Kyiv that Moscow was urging its closest allies to join a new ground attack against Ukraine.

- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article