Russia and China agreed to strengthen their security ties following a meeting between leaders Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, The Associated Press reports.
Nikolai Patrushev of Russia’s national Security Council on Monday said that the Kremlin views the “strengthening of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation with Beijing as an unconditional priority of Russia’s foreign policy.”
Patrushev, one of Putin’s closest allies, said “in the current conditions, our countries must show even greater readiness for mutual support and development of cooperation.”
Patrushev’s office said in a statement that the two sides agreed to “expand information exchanges on countering extremism and foreign attempts to undermine the constitutional order of both countries in order to derail independent policies of Russia and China serving their national interests."
The statement came days after Putin met with Xi last week in Uzbekistan, their first meeting since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Chinese government after the meeting said that Xi promised “strong support” for Russia’s “core interests,” without mentioning Ukraine.
China has refused to criticize Russia’s invasion and has stepped up its imports of Russian energy.
Putin on Thursday praised China for its “balanced” approach on Ukraine even as he acknowledged Xi’s “concerns.”
Biden warned China:
President Joe Biden told CBS News on Sunday that he warned Xi that it would be a “gigantic mistake” to violate sanctions against Russia ahead of the invasion.
“I said: ‘If you think that Americans and others will continue to invest in China based on your violating the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia, I think you’re making a gigantic mistake. But that’s your decision to make,’” Biden said.
The president said the goal of the call was “not to threaten” China but to warn about the consequences of ignoring sanctions.
“Thus far, there’s no indication they’ve put forward weapons or other things that Russia has wanted,” Biden said.