Putin met with Chinese defense minister in Moscow, Kremlin says

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu in Moscow on Sunday, with both sides hailing their close military cooperation, according to the Kremlin.

Putin said Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Russia was ”very productive,” and relations between Russia and China are developing well in all areas, the Kremlin said.

️Russia said Putin used the meeting to highlight military cooperation as a key area of strength between the two countries.

In his first overseas trip since becoming defense minister, Li said Moscow and Beijing ”have very strong relations, that far surpass the military-political alliances of the Cold War,” according to the Kremlin statement.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was also present at the meeting. 

Key background: The latest diplomatic sit-down between Russian and Chinese officials comes at a time of increased Western scrutiny about the two governments’ relationship — and how it plays into the war in Ukraine.

Putin and Xi posed as peacebrokers during a friendly visit in Moscow last month, but the Chinese leader’s proposals on ending the conflict in Ukraine include no provision that Moscow withdraw its troops from Ukrainian land, and was drawn up without any involvement from Kyiv.

While China and Russia have strengthened ties in recent months, the US has not seen evidence that China has provided systemic material support to the Kremlin, as Putin looks for avenues to evade Western sanctions and backfill its military, according to senior US Treasury officials.

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