Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Russia’s Top Diplomat Pledges to Prioritize China Relationship

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, lauded the “inexhaustible potential” of his country’s strategic relationship with China on Wednesday. Moscow’s top diplomat called for more economic integration with its powerful neighbor as the war in Ukraine neared 100 days and the West’s wide-ranging sanctions continued to endanger Russia’s growth. In prepared remarks at the top of an academic conference hosted by state-backed think tanks from Moscow and Beijing, Lavrov said Russia’s cooperation with China continued to grow in “scale and intensity” despite punctuative measures and an “information war” led by the United States. Developing the “strategic partnership” between the two countries “remains among Russia’s foreign policy priorities,” he said. “The experience of working together in the new environment shows that our ties have a powerful, truly inexhaustible potential, and are confidently passing endurance tests.” (https://www.newsweek.com/russia-china-sergey-lavrov-wang-yi-strategic-partnership-1712000) Lavrov referenced the February 4 meeting in Beijing of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who further aligned themselves with a 5,000-word joint statement on cooperation that alarmed many in the West. The Russian diplomat then quoted his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, describing the Russia-China partnership as one of “no limits” and “no forbidden areas.” At the opening of the two-day event, at which Wang also spoke, Lavrov told participants that the two governments were “paying special attention to trade and economic cooperation,” with a strategic focus on energy.

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