MOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin met Sunday with China’s defense minister Beijing’s growing ties with Moscowwith which it has largely aligned its foreign policy in an effort to reduce the influence of the United States and other Western democracies.
Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met with General Li Shangfu less than a month after the one hosted by Chinese leader Xi Jinping. three day state visit to Moscow.
China has refused to criticize Russia’s military actions in Ukraine and blames the United States and NATO for prodding Moscow. But China’s foreign minister said last week that China would not help Russia with weapons, as the US and other Western allies have feared.
Officially, China remains neutral in the Ukraine dispute. however, Xi’s visit Emphasized how China is fast becoming a senior partner in the relationship as it provides political cover and an economic lifeline to Russia during the Ukraine conflict.
Opening the meeting, Putin praised the general development of Russia-China relations.
“We are also actively working through military departments, regularly exchanging information useful to us, cooperating in the field of military-technical cooperation, holding joint exercises, etc. Moreover, in various theaters: in the Far East region and Europe, and at sea, and on land and in the air, ”he said according to the Kremlin.
Li said the countries’ relations “perform better than the military-political alliances of the Cold War era. They are based on the principles of non-alignment and are very stable.”