Thursday, June 13, 2024

Russia’s Putin in trade push on final day of China trip

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Moscow’s state news agency TASS said Putin was accompanied by Han Zheng, China’s vice president.

Putin said Friday that Moscow’s partnership with China was not targeted against anyone.

China and Russia were “important components of contemporary civilisation”, he said.

“We have our own point of view on how we should develop,” he warned.

WESTERN CRITICISM

Putin’s visit comes a week after a major new ground assault in Ukraine, Moscow’s biggest advance in 18 months.

Thousands of Russian troops stormed the border into Ukraine’s northeast on May 10, seizing over 200sqkm of land.

At a news conference on Friday, Putin said the move had been made to stop cross-border shelling, but added there were no current plans to capture Kharkiv city.

“This is their fault because they have shelled and continue to shell residential neighbourhoods in border areas,” Putin told reporters.

“I said publicly that if this continues, we will be forced to create a security zone.”

Putin said he and Xi had discussed the conflict, noting that he believed China “is sincerely seeking to resolve this problem”.

Western countries have meanwhile been mounting pressure on Beijing to cut off support for Russia’s economy.

After Washington vowed to go after financial institutions that facilitate Moscow, Chinese exports to Russia dipped in March and April, down from a surge early in the year.

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