Russia and China signed bilateral agreements despite Western criticism

BEIJING, May 23 (Reuters) – Russia and China are set to sign bilateral agreements during the Russian prime minister’s visit to Beijing on Wednesday, as the two giant neighbors pledge closer cooperation. In Ukraine.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin – the highest-ranking Russian official to visit Beijing since Moscow sent thousands of troops to Ukraine in February 2022 – held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang, the Russian government said.

“As a result of the negotiations, several bilateral agreements are planned to be signed,” Russian news agency Interfax reported without elaborating.

The visit comes after Russia and China reacted furiously to seven isolated weekend statements on issues including Ukraine, nuclear weapons and economic coercion.

Xi visited Russia in March and held talks with “dear friend” President Vladimir Putin after pledging a “no limits” partnership for what Moscow calls “special military action” just ahead of Russia’s 2022 attack on Ukraine.

Beijing has rejected Western attempts to link its partnership with Moscow to Ukraine, insisting that their relationship does not violate international norms, that China has the right to cooperate with those it chooses, and that their cooperation does not target any third countries.

In support of this, the Chinese Premier extended his greetings on Tuesday Letter At the China-Russia Business Forum in Shanghai, Mishustin and a large delegation of Russian presidents said China was ready to expand bilateral economic and trade exchanges.

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In April, China’s exports to Russia continued to see momentum, rising 153.1% from a year earlier, after doubling in March, according to data from Chinese customs.

Russia’s energy exports to China are expected to increase by 40% this year, and the two countries are discussing supplying Russia with technological equipment, the Interfax news agency reported.

Deepening ties with China is a strategic lesson for Moscow, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said Monday in talks with Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Chen Wenqing.

Mishustin’s visit comes as Ukraine prepares for a counteroffensive in an attempt to retake territory occupied by Russian forces.

Beijing has not openly condemned Russia’s invasion. But since February, Xi has promoted a 12-point peace plan that has faced skepticism from the West and been greeted with caution by Kiev.

Last week, China’s Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui visited Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, kicking off a European tour that Beijing said was an effort to promote peace talks and a political solution to the crisis.

Russian news agency TASS reported that Li Hui plans to visit Russia on Friday.

Reporting by Ryan Wu; Additional reporting by Lydia Kelly and Ethan Wang; Editing by Michael Perry

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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