SAARCAND, Uzbekistan ( Associated Press) — Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for his “balanced” approach to the Ukrainian crisis and his “outrageous” in a meeting set against the backdrop of a major setback in Moscow. Blamed Washington for policies. on the battlefield.
Before starting talks with Xi in Uzbekistan, Putin said he wanted to respond to China’s unspecified “concerns” about Ukraine.
“We greatly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends regarding the Ukrainian crisis,” Putin said, sitting across from Xi at a long table.
“We understand your questions and concerns in this regard, and as we go through today’s meeting we will present a detailed account of our position on this, although we have discussed this before,” he said.
The two leaders met in Uzbekistan on the sidelines of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, an eight-nation security alliance designed to counter US influence. Its other members are India, Pakistan and four former Soviet nations.
A Chinese government statement issued after the meeting did not specifically mention Ukraine, but said Xi promised “strong support” for Russia’s “core interests”. Although not elaborated in the statement, Beijing uses the term “main interests” to refer to issues such as Taiwan’s claim to national sovereignty and the ruling Communist Party, on which it is prepared to go to war.
The Xi government, which said before its invasion of Ukraine in late February that its friendship with Moscow was “limitless”, has refused to criticize Russian military operations. China and India have increased their purchases of Russian oil and gas, allowing Moscow to offset the impact of sanctions imposed by the West since the invasion.
Observers say Russia’s reliance on China as a market for its oil and gas is likely to increase as the West limits the price of Russian energy resources and stops importing them altogether.
Moscow has strongly backed Beijing to strengthen its alliance with China amid tensions emanating from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan.
“We condemn the provocation of the US and its satellites in the Taiwan Strait,” Putin told Xi.
The backdrop of the summit, in addition to the Russian attack on Ukraine, includes the outbreak of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan at a location not far from the event, as well as between China and the United States, Europe and Japan for technical reasons. Including stress. Controversy, security and territorial.
At the beginning of his talks with Xi, Putin denounced attempts by the United States and its allies to dominate world affairs.
“Efforts to create a polar world have recently taken an absolutely outrageous form. They are absolutely unacceptable to most countries of the world”, the Russian president assured.
More cautious, Xi said China stands ready to play a leading role with Russia in “setting an example of a responsible world power and leading the rapidly changing world on the path of sustainable and positive development.”
The summit in the ancient city of Samarkand is a stop on Xi’s first overseas trip since the start of the coronavirus pandemic two and a half years ago, in which he seeks to project China as a regional power.
The meeting’s backdrop was last week’s forced withdrawal of Russian troops from large areas in northeastern Ukraine, which is facing a swift Ukrainian retaliation. Ukraine has gained control of several Russian-occupied towns and villages, in a major blow to Moscow since its forces were forced to withdraw from the outskirts of the capital at the start of the war.