Kremlin: Xi supports Putin’s pursuit of guarantees from West

Dec 14, 2021, 11:32 AM | Updated: Dec 15, 2021, 5:47 am
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his videoconference with Chinese President Xi Jinp...

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his videoconference with Chinese President Xi Jinping, right on the screen, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have held a video call to discuss bilateral relations and international affairs. The summit Wednesday comes amid heightened tensions between Moscow and the West over a Russian troop buildup near Ukrainian borders that is stoking fears of a possible invasion. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

(Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping supported Russian President Vladimir Putin in his push to get Western security guarantees precluding NATO’s eastward expansion, the Kremlin said Wednesday after the two leaders held a virtual summit.

Putin and Xi spoke as Moscow faces heightened tensions with the West over a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine’s border. In recent weeks, Western nations engaged in diplomatic efforts to prevent a possible invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin has denied harboring plans to storm its neighbor.

Putin, meanwhile, demanded guarantees that NATO will not expand to Ukraine or deploy troops and weapons there.

He told Xi on Wednesday about “mounting threats to Russia’s national interests from the U.S. and the NATO bloc, which consistently move their military infrastructure close to the Russian borders,” Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said.

The Russian leader stressed the need to hold talks with NATO and the U.S. on legally binding security guarantees, according to Ushakov. Xi responded by saying he “understands Russia’s concerns and fully supports our initiative to work out these security guarantees for Russia,” Ushakov said.

He said Moscow’s proposals have been passed on to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried, who visited Moscow on Wednesday and met with Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov.

In recent years, China and Russia have increasingly aligned their foreign policies to counter U.S. domination of the international economic and political order.

Both have faced sanctions — China over its abuses against minorities, especially Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, and for its crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, and Russia for annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and over the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Beijing and Washington also remain at odds over trade, technology and China’s military intimidation of Taiwan, which it claims as its own territory.

Russia’s relations with the U.S. sank to post-Cold War lows after it annexed Crimea and threw its weight behind a separatist insurgency in Ukraine’s east. Tensions reignited in recent weeks after Moscow massed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine’s border, a move Ukraine and the West feared may indicate plans for a new invasion.

Moscow has denied that it plans to attack Ukraine and in turn blamed Ukraine for its own military buildup in the country’s war-torn east. Russian officials alleged that Kyiv might try to reclaim the areas controlled by the rebels.

It is within that context that Putin has pressed the West for guarantees that NATO will not expand to Ukraine or deploy its forces there.

During their call on Wednesday, Putin and Xi hailed relations between Russia and China, with the Russian leader saying they are based on “such principles as not interfering in internal affairs (of each other), respect for each other’s interests, determination to turn the shared border into a belt of eternal peace and good neighborliness.”

Xi said, through a translator, that he appreciated that Putin “strongly supported China’s efforts to protect key national interests and firmly opposed attempts to drive a wedge between our countries.”

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that Xi said “both China and Russia need to carry out more joint actions to more effectively safeguard our security and interests.”

“At present, certain international forces are arbitrarily interfering in the internal affairs of China and Russia under the guise of democracy and human rights, and brutally trampling on international law and the norms of international relations,” Xi was quoted by CCTV as saying.

Putin also said he plans to meet with Xi in person in Beijing in February and to attend the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The U.S., Canada, Australia and Britain have said they will not be sending dignitaries to the Winter Olympics as part of a diplomatic boycott to protest China’s human rights record. Other countries have said they won’t be sending officials because of pandemic travel restrictions.

In welcoming Putin’s planned visit, Xi said sports could be a channel for their countries to boost ties.

“Both sides should strengthen coordination and cooperation on international affairs to maker louder voices on global governance, and come up with practical plans on global issues including the pandemic and climate change,” Xi was quoted by CCTV as saying.

China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Xi told Putin he “very much looks forward to this ‘get together at the Winter Olympics’ and stands ready to work with President Putin ‘for a shared future’ to jointly open a new chapter in post-COVID China-Russia relations.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Pakistan appoints new finance minister amid economic crisis

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan appointed a new finance minister on Monday as the improverished nation struggles to recover from an economic crisis worsened by deadly floods. Ishaq Dar, a senior figure in the Pakistan Muslim League party, has been finance minister three times. His challenges will be to convince the International Monetary Fund to soften […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

IMF urges UK to “re-evaluate” tax cuts on inflation concerns

LONDON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund has urged the U.K. government to “reevaluate” a package of unfunded tax cuts that it says may fuel inflation and are likely to increase economic inequality. The government on Friday unveiled a 45 billion-pound ($48 billion) package of tax cuts in an effort to spur economic growth. But […]
1 day ago
A large disturbance in the sea can be observed off the coast of the Danish island of Bornholm Tuesd...
Associated Press

EU vows retaliation if energy network attacked

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union suspects that damage to two underwater natural gas pipelines was sabotage and is warning of retaliation for any attack on Europe’s energy networks, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Wednesday. “All available information indicates those leaks are the result of a deliberate act,” Borrell said in a statement […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

China former top graft buster indicted on bribery charges

BEIJING (AP) — A former top graft buster at China’s ministry for intelligence and counterintelligence has been indicted on bribery charges, just weeks before a major congress of the ruling Communist Party whose leader Xi Jinping has made fighting corruption a signature issue. Wednesday’s indictment of Liu Yanping, who headed the State Security Ministry’s branch […]
1 day ago
Eviation's "Alice", the world's first all-electric commuter airplane, takes off for its first fligh...
Associated Press

Prototype electric airplane takes first flight

A prototype, all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday morning in central Washington state.
1 day ago
Associated Press

Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners meet in game 2 of series

Texas Rangers (66-87, fourth in the AL West) vs. Seattle Mariners (83-70, second in the AL West) Seattle; Wednesday, 9:40 p.m. EDT PITCHING PROBABLES: Rangers: Martin Perez (12-6, 2.90 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 164 strikeouts); Mariners: George Kirby (0-0, 19.29 ERA, 4.29 WHIP, one strikeout) FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Mariners -160, Rangers +140; over/under is 7 runs […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Kremlin: Xi supports Putin’s pursuit of guarantees from West