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Putin Seeks Chinese Backing for Trade and Ukrainian Conflict

Trade and Ukrainian Conflict

BEIJING: Russian leader Vladimir Putin concluded his visit to the northeastern city of Harbin on Friday, marking the final day of a trip focused on bolstering crucial trade ties with China and garnering greater support for Russia’s military efforts in Ukraine.

Arriving on Thursday, Putin embarked on his first foreign trip since his re-election in March, engaging in talks with President Xi Jinping to frame their nations’ relationship as a stabilizing force amid global turmoil.

Addressing the opening ceremony of a Russia-China trade expo on Friday, Putin emphasized the significance of energy cooperation between the two nations, pledging to “strengthen” these ties.

He underscored Russia’s readiness to consistently provide affordable and environmentally clean energy to power the Chinese economy, businesses, and communities.

Putin also highlighted the importance of deepening bilateral cooperation in high technologies and innovations, particularly as the world stands on the brink of the next technological revolution.

Describing China and Russia as “important components of contemporary civilization,” Putin asserted their unique perspectives on development, hinting at their divergent views from Western approaches.

Putin’s visit coincided with a major ground assault in Ukraine, marking Moscow’s most significant advance in 18 months.

At a subsequent news conference, Putin justified the move as necessary to halt cross-border shelling, clarifying that there were no immediate plans to capture Kharkiv city. He attributed the escalation to the shelling of residential areas in border regions by Ukrainian forces.

Regarding discussions with Xi, Putin acknowledged China’s purported sincerity in seeking a resolution to the conflict. Xi, in a statement following talks with Putin, emphasized the need for a political solution to end the war.

In response to the growing tensions, a U.S. State Department spokesman cautioned China against attempting to maintain friendly ties with both the West and Moscow simultaneously, suggesting that such a stance would be untenable.

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