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    Putin greeted Russia-China relations during the Xi Virtual Summit


    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping made a video call on Wednesday to discuss bilateral relations and international issues, a summit that sparked tensions between Moscow and the West over the formation of a Russian army near the Ukrainian border.

    In their introductory speeches, Putin and Xi welcomed the relations between Russia and China, with the Russian leader announcing them as a fitting example of international cooperation in the 21st century.

    “We do not interfere in internal affairs, we respect each other’s interests, we are determined to turn the divided border into a belt of lasting peace, and we are good neighbors,” Putin said.

    Xi said the Russian president strongly supported China’s efforts to safeguard major national interests and strongly opposed any attempt to create divisions between our countries.

    I really appreciate it, said the Chinese leader.

    In recent years, China and Russia have increasingly consolidated their foreign policies to counter US dominance in the international economic and political system. Both have faced sanctions for their domestic policy.

    China has faced sanctions for cracking down on minorities, especially Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, and Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Russia has already faced international sanctions for annexing Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and for poisoning and imprisoning opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

    Beijing and Washington have also been at odds over Taiwan’s trade, technology and China’s military intimidation, which it claims is its own territory.

    Russia’s relations with the United States have plummeted since the Cold War in 2014, after annexing Crimea and throwing its weight behind a separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine. Tensions have resurfaced in recent weeks after Moscow deployed several thousand troops near the Ukrainian border, a move Ukraine and the West fear could signal plans for a new offensive.

    Moscow has denied that it is planning to invade Ukraine and has blamed Ukraine for its military build-up before the war.

    Russian officials have accused Kiev of trying to forcibly retake areas controlled by the rebels, and Putin has pressured the West to give a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not expand into Ukraine or deploy its forces there.

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