Putin said Russia and China a cooperating closely on strategic issues. Meanwhile, foreign ministers from the G7 have reiterated their support for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.
China’s Defense Minister Li Shangfu hailed his country’s military ties with Moscow on Sunday after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“This is my first overseas visit since taking over as China’s defense minister. I specifically chose Russia for this in order to emphasize the special nature and strategic importance of our bilateral ties,” Li said in translated remarks that were broadcast on Russian TV.
China has presented itself as a neutral party in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Western states have accused Beijing of tacitly supporting Russia’s war.
“We have very strong ties,” Li added. “They surpass the military-political alliances of the Cold War era… They are very stable.”
At the meeting, which was also attended by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Putin welcomed “trusting” and “strategic” military cooperation with China.
“We are also working actively through the military departments, regularly exchange useful information, cooperate in the field of military-technical cooperation, conduct joint exercises,” the Russian leader said.
Li’s trip to Russia is due to last until April 19.