Putin welcomes senior Chinese diplomat to Moscow in move to bolster relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Chinese Communist Party's foreign policy chief Wang Yi during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Chinese Communist Party's foreign policy chief Wang Yi during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023 Copyright Anton Novoderezhkin/Sputnik
By Euronews with AP
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Putin welcomes top Beijing diplomat in Moscow in move to bolster relations

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Russia and China showcased their deepening ties Wednesday in a series of meetings in Moscow closely watched for signs that Beijing might offer stronger support to the Kremlin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described international relations as "difficult" during his meeting with senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi.

Wang's visit to Moscow just days ahead of the first anniversary of the Ukraine war is a strong message from Beijing to both Russia and the United States.

Wang was welcomed warmly by Putin, who said their countries have a common strategic interest in standing together on the world stage.

“Cooperation in the international arena between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, as we have repeatedly said, is very important for stabilising the international situation,” Putin noted.

China has declined to criticise Russia's invasion of Ukraine. And Wang hinted that it would not be pressured by the US into doing so.

Anton Novoderezhkin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
The Chinese Communist Party's foreign policy chief Wang Yi speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 22Anton Novoderezhkin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Relations between Russia and the West are at their lowest point since the Cold War, and ties between China and the US are also under serious strain.

Moscow suspended its participation in its last remaining nuclear arms disarmament treaty with Washington, known as START, on Tuesday.

The US and NATO have both expressed concern in recent days that China could provide arms and ammunition to Russia. 

Beijing has denied the allegation and previously condemned Washington for supplying weapons to Ukraine.

Before meeting with Putin, Wang held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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