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Russia and China deepen economic ties amid surge in trade since invasion of Ukraine | Russia

Russia and China deepen economic ties amid surge in trade since invasion of Ukraine |  Russia


Russia and China agreed to deepen investment in trade services, promote agricultural exports and strengthen sports cooperation, as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a series of bilateral agreements during a visit to Beijing.

Mishustin is the most senior Russian official to visit Beijing since the start of the war in Ukraine. In March, Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited Vladimir Putin in Moscow to show his support for his dear friend.

China has claimed to be a neutral mediator in the war in Ukraine, but China and Russia have grown closer since the invasion began. Mishustin’s visit, where he met Xi and Chinese Premier Li Qiang, came after G7 leaders called on Russia and China to be more transparent about their nuclear arsenals. On Tuesday, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said the G7 statement was aimed at exerting psychological and military-political pressure on Russia and China.

Ben Bland, director of the Asia-Pacific program at Chatham House, said the G7 statements underscored the deepening geopolitical divide between China and Russia on one side and the United States and its allies on the other.

On Wednesday, Mishustin told Xi that Moscow and Beijing would push back against countries’ attempts to use sanctions to impose their will.

Trade between the two countries has increased since the start of the invasion. On Tuesday, Mishustin said bilateral trade could reach $200 billion this year, up from $190 billion in 2022. Russian energy shipments to China are expected to increase by 40% this year, according to Interfax, a Russian news agency.

Already in the first three months of this year, trade between the two countries reached 53.8 billion dollars, an increase of almost 40% compared to the same period in 2022.

This month, Chinese customs authorities added the Russian city of Vladivostok to their list of transit ports, effective June 1. It will be the first time the Chinese will have access to Vladivostok since the territory was ceded to the Qing dynasty 163 years ago.

The boundless friendship between China and Russia has deepened since the start of the war in Ukraine, with Russia relying on China for economic and political support.

On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning criticized NATO’s plan to open a liaison office in Japan. Xi sees Putin as an ally against a US-led world order and has suggested that the Ukrainian conflict was caused at least in part by bloc expansion.

China has previously warned against the Western alliance extending its tentacles to the Asia-Pacific.

Bland said: We are past the point where Japan or the United States will do things because of critical comments from China, adding that the possibility of a NATO liaison office in Japan was unlikely to happen. be well received by other developing countries in the region because of memories. of the Cold War.

Li Hui, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, is due to visit Russia on Friday. Last week, he traveled to Ukraine to promote Beijing’s mediation efforts, which Western countries see as futile given China’s close relationship with Russia.

Reuters contributed to this report.




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