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Russia, China agree to expand security ties

A top Russian security official says the Kremlin considers ties with Beijing a top policy goal

A top Russian security official says the Kremlin considers ties with Beijing a top policy goal

A top Russian security official on a visit to China on Monday announced that the Kremlin considers strengthening ties with Beijing a top policy goal.

Nikolai Petrushev, the secretary of the National Security Council, chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin, described the “strengthening of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation with Beijing as an unconditional priority of Russia’s foreign policy.”

Petrushev is one of Putin’s closest aides. Speaking during a meeting with Guo Shengkun, a top official of the Communist Party of China, he said that “under the current circumstances, our countries should show even greater readiness to develop mutual support and cooperation.”

Patrushev’s office said in a statement after talks in the city of Nanping that the parties agreed to “expand the exchange of information on foreign efforts to counter extremism and undermine the constitutional order of the two countries”. Chinese and Russian officials also stressed the need to increase cooperation on cyber security.

Putin met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan last week, their first encounter since the Russian leader sent troops to Ukraine in late February.

A Chinese government statement issued after the meeting did not specifically mention Ukraine, but said Xi had promised “strong support” for Russia’s “core interests”. The statement did not give specifics, but Beijing uses “core interests” to describe issues such as the ruling Communist Party’s claim on national sovereignty and Taiwan, on which it is willing to go to war.

Xi’s government, which said it had a “no borders” friendship with Moscow before the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, has refused to criticize Russia’s military actions. Both China and India have increased imports of Russian oil and gas, helping Moscow overcome Western sanctions imposed on its operations in Ukraine.

During his meeting with Xi on Thursday, Putin praised the Chinese president for maintaining a “balanced” approach to the Ukraine crisis and said he was ready to discuss Beijing’s “concerns” about Ukraine. Huh.

Putin has made a rare mention of Chinese concerns as the effects of volatile oil prices and the economic uncertainty caused by the nearly seven-month battle in Ukraine have raised concerns in China.

Xi and Putin met on the sidelines of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a security alliance formed as a countermeasure to US influence that also includes India, Pakistan and four former Soviet nations in Central Asia.

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