Saturday, May 25, 2024

Putin says relationship between Russia and China ‘one of main stabilising factors in international arena’ – live

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Putin says relationship between Russia and China is ‘one of main stabilising factors in international arena’

Russian president Vladimir Putin has thanked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for what he said was China’s role in trying to solve the Ukraine crisis.

In a joint appearance in Beijing, the two leaders and other senior officials from both sides signed documents on deepening mutual cooperation between the two countries.

Putin said negotiations between the two delegations had been warm and businesslike.

Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti quoted Putin as saying that Russia-China relations are “not directed against anyone. Our cooperation in world affairs today is one of the main stabilising factors in the international arena,” and Putin complimented Xi on China’s belt and road initiative.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) and China’s President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to their talks in Beijing. Photograph: Sergei Guneyev/AFP/Getty Images

Putin said “Together, we uphold the principles of justice and a democratic world order that reflects multipolar realities and is based on international law.”

Xi said the two countries were furthering their relationship as “good neighbours, good friends, good partners”, and that China hopes for the speedy restoration of peace and stability in Europe. He said his country would continue to play a constructive role.

Key events

Vyacheslav Volodin, the chair of the Duma in Russia, has warned that Ukraine is dragging the US and Europe into a big war, and western leaders needed to avoid a major global catastrophe, according to Reuters.

Tass quoted him saying that any use of western weapons against peaceful Russian cities will entail the retaliatory use of more powerful weapons to protect Russians.

Volodin is also reported to have said that the state Duma is ready to help the new defence minister, Andrei Belousov.

Russia claims to have detained two Ukrainian agents accused of sabotage in Crimea

Russia’s Federal Security Service said on Thursday it had detained Ukrainian agents in Crimea, which Russia unilaterally annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

One of them admitted to having transferred information on air defence systems protecting the Crimean Bridge, Reuters reports, citing Russian state news agency RIA.

State-owned news agency Tass is also reporting that the pair had attempted to blow up railway lines on the peninsula.

Putin says relationship between Russia and China is ‘one of main stabilising factors in international arena’

Russian president Vladimir Putin has thanked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for what he said was China’s role in trying to solve the Ukraine crisis.

In a joint appearance in Beijing, the two leaders and other senior officials from both sides signed documents on deepening mutual cooperation between the two countries.

Putin said negotiations between the two delegations had been warm and businesslike.

Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti quoted Putin as saying that Russia-China relations are “not directed against anyone. Our cooperation in world affairs today is one of the main stabilising factors in the international arena,” and Putin complimented Xi on China’s belt and road initiative.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) and China’s President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to their talks in Beijing. Photograph: Sergei Guneyev/AFP/Getty Images

Putin said “Together, we uphold the principles of justice and a democratic world order that reflects multipolar realities and is based on international law.”

Xi said the two countries were furthering their relationship as “good neighbours, good friends, good partners”, and that China hopes for the speedy restoration of peace and stability in Europe. He said his country would continue to play a constructive role.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have shaken hands and the joint event in Beijing is over.

In a lengthy speech at this event in Beijing, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has said that business contacts between Russia and China are “reliably protected from the negative influence of third countries”, which can be taken to be a swipe at US-led sanctions against the Russian economy after its invasion of Ukraine.

He also said that Russian and Chinese banks would be strengthening their contacts.

Russian state-owned media RIA has quoted the opening of Putin’s speech, saying that the Russian president thanked Xi for the warm welcome in China, and said talks had been conducted in a friendly and businesslike atmosphere. He said Moscow and Beijing attach great importance to the partnership.

China and Russia will deepen political mutual trust, Xi Jinping tells Putin

Tass has summarised Xi Jinping’s speech on its Telegram news feed, reporting that China’s president said:

China and Russian will adhere to the principles of non-alignment and non-confrontation against third countries. China and Russia will deepen political mutual trust. China and Russia will support the emergence of a multipolar world. China and Russia demonstrate an example of building a new type of relationship and connections between neighbours. China and Russia defend a world order based on international law.

Vladimir Putin is speaking next.

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Tass is reporting that the two leaders and their teams had two-and-a-half hours of negotiations prior to the document signing to complete the details.

After several signing ceremonies, Xi is talking first at a joint event with Putin in Beijing.

Other Chinese and Russian officials are now signing documents in front of Xi and Putin at the event.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have begun a joint event in Beijing. They have been warmly applauded by attendees as they arrived. We will bring you any key lines that emerge. They have begun by signing a document on deepening the strategic partnership between the two nations, which has also been warmly greeted.

Summary

It’s 2pm in Beijing, where Russian president Vladimir Putin has arrived for a two day state visit that will see him hold meetings with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

  • Putin arrived in Beijing early on Thursday for talks that the Kremlin said would deepen the strategic partnership with China. Chinese state media confirmed the Russian president’s arrival for what it described as a state visit from an “old friend”.

  • At a welcoming ceremony outside central Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Xi greeted Putin while artillery fired a multi-gun salute. China remains by far the most powerful of Russia’s friends in the world and has acted as a lifeline for Russia since its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

  • Speaking during his meeting with Xi, Putin said that Russia-China cooperation is not directed against any other power and is a stabilising factor for the world. Xi noted the two leaders had met more than 40 times and that the China-Russia relationship was “worth cherishing and safeguarding by both sides”.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping shake hands during an official welcoming ceremony in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photograph: RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS OFFICE/AFP/Getty Images
  • Russian news agencies said that the bilateral talks planned to focus on trade and economic cooperation. Analysts say that the two sides will be looking for ways to quietly circumvent US restrictions that have driven down Chinese exports to Russia following a postwar boom in both consumer products and dual-use goods that have been crucial to the Russian war machine in Ukraine.

  • Speaking to Chinese state media before the visit, Putin praised China for its initiatives to resolve “the crisis in Ukraine”. The Russian president also criticised “western elites” in their efforts to “isolate and weaken” Russia.

  • Both leaders will participate in a gala celebrating 75 years since the Soviet Union recognised the People’s Republic of China, which Mao Zedong declared in 1949. The second stage of the state visit will take place in the city of Harbin, where Putin will attend the opening ceremony of the eighth Russian-Chinese expo and the fourth Russia-China Forum on interregional cooperation.

Among the vast number of officials in the Russian delegation is Putin’s new defence minister, Andrei Belousov.

Earlier this week Putin removed his longtime ally, Sergei Shoigu, as defence minister, replacing him with Belousov. Analysts have called it the most significant reshuffle to the military command since Russian troops invaded Ukraine more than two years ago.

A Putin loyalist, Belousov is a veteran economist and former counterpart to Ding Xuexiang, a close ally of Xi Jinping and a member of China’s politburo standing committee

It’s likely both men will be involved in upcoming meetings to discuss economic cooperation.

Russian defence minister Andrei Belousov. Photograph: Gavriil Grigorov/AP

Alexander Gabuev, the director of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, says that both countries have invested a lot of effort to really get their teams acquainted and establish personal bonds.

Now the Russian officials are not pulled in a thousand different directions … because nobody talks to them.”

Former defence minister Shoigu is also among the Russian delegation to China, in his position as head of Russia’s powerful security council.

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Putin says 90% of payments between China and Russia are made in their national currencies

The “timely” decision of Russian and Chinese authorities to make settlements in their national currencies beefed up trade between the countries, Vladimir Putin told Xi Jinping at a meeting in Beijing on Thursday.

Today, 90% of all payments are already made in roubles and yuan.”

After Russia launched its invasions of Ukraine in February 2022, western countries agreed to remove “selected Russian banks” from Swift – the world’s main international payments network – with the aim of hitting Russian trade and making it harder for its companies to do business.

At the time there were fears that such a move could damage the US dollar’s status as the global reserve currency, and accelerate the use of alternative currencies. However, more than two years later the dollar and dollar payment systems remain overwhelmingly dominant.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping talk prior to their bilateral meeting in Beijing. Photograph: Getty Images

Its expected that Putin and Xi will use this state visit to find workarounds that could allow them to continue to expand trade away from the watchful eye of the US.

“When it comes to economics, the most critical question is the payment issue,” said Alexey Maslov, director of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

China’s major banks are throttling payments out of concern over US sanctions, Maslov said, and Russia has proposed to solve the issue via a decentralised payment system that the west would be unable to track. “Both sides will look for sanctions-proof mechanisms going forward,” said Maslov.

Speaking during his meeting with Xi, Putin said that both countries would also try to establish closer cooperation in the fields of “industry and high technology, space and peaceful nuclear energy, artificial intelligence, renewable energy sources and other innovative sectors.”

Kremlin responds to Swiss proposal for Ukraine peace summit

As Vladimir Putin continues to meet with Xi Jinping in Beijing, the Kremlin has labelled a planned Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland as “futile” without the participation of Russia.

“Without Russia, discussing security issues that concern us is absolutely futile,” Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russia’s Tass state news agency.

Most likely, it will be just empty scholasticism with no prospect of getting at least some tangible result.”

The peace summit planned by Switzerland has so far drawn delegations from more than 50 countries, the Swiss president, Viola Amherd, has said.

Russia has not been invited, but Switzerland says it might be if Moscow had not repeatedly stated it is not interested. The Ukrainian government has said Russia does not negotiate in good faith.

Putin’s two-day trip comes as comes at a critical point in Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine.

Russia’s forces have pressed an offensive in the north-eastern Kharkiv region, in the most significant border incursion since the full-scale invasion began, forcing almost 8,000 people to flee their homes.

At the same time, Ukraine’s depleted military is awaiting new supplies of anti-aircraft missiles and artillery shells from the United States.

On Wednesday, president Volodymyr Zelenskiy postponed all foreign trips, as Ukrainian troops withdrew from several areas in the north-east.

Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on Tuesday that the army had sent reinforcements to the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions. “It is too early to draw conclusions, but the situation is under control,” he said.

A multi-story residential building stands heavily damaged in Kharkiv. Photograph: Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images

Russia is opening new fronts in order to stretch Ukraine’s army, which is short of ammunition and manpower, along the approximately 620 miles (1,000-km) frontline, hoping defences will crumble. Russian artillery and sabotage raids have also been menacing Ukraine’s northern Chernihiv and Sumy regions.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken – who has been in Kyiv this week – has sought to reassure Ukraine of continuing American support, announcing a $2bn arms deal.

I know this is a really, really difficult time. Your soldiers, your citizens, particularly in the north-east in Kharkiv, are suffering tremendously … you need to know, the United States is with you, so much of the world is with you. And they’re fighting not just for a free Ukraine but for the free world, and the free world is with you too.”

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