in full tension with the West over Ukraine

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China, Xi Jinping with Putin. Photo: AFP.

The presidents of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, proclaimed on Tuesday the beginning of a “new era” in their relations, in a demonstration of the strength of their alliance amid severe tensions between the two countries and the West over the war in Ukraine.

“We have signed a declaration that strengthens our strategic partnership and relations that are entering a new era,” Xi said after meeting his Russian counterpart in Moscow.

For his part, Putin expressed prudent support after the summit for Chinese proposals to find a negotiated solution to the conflict in Ukraine, which began more than a year ago with the Russian offensive.

But the Kremlin leader criticized Western powers and kyiv the lack of responses to these proposals, which include the call to respect the territorial sovereignty of all countries.

Putin and Xi, in a “new era” in their relations

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“Many points of the peace plan proposed by China (…) can serve as the basis for a peaceful solution, when the West and Kiev are willing to do so. But we do not see any willingness on their part at the moment,” said the Russian president.

He Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, assured instead, after these statements, that he invited China to talk and that until now it awaits “an answer”, while the United States affirmed today that a mediation is not “impartial”.

“I don’t think China can be considered reasonably impartial”said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues Photo AFP
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues. Photo: AFP.

Regarding the summit between Putin and Xi, the statement issued by Moscow stressed that both countries “are very concerned about the increasing strengthening of ties between NATO and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region in relation to military and security issues” and accuse the Atlantic Alliance of “undermining regional peace and stability”.

It also denounces “the negative influence of the United States strategy guided by a Cold War mentality (…) on peace and stability in that region,” the text cited by the AFP news agency reported.

China had already warned last week of the “erroneous and dangerous path” that in its eyes opens the agreement signed by Australia with the United States and the United Kingdom (Aukus for its acronym in English) to equip itself with nuclear-powered submarines in the Indus region. -Peaceful.

After the meeting with Xi, Putin announced that both countries reached a agreement to build a gigantic gas pipeline that will carry gas from the Siberian region to northwest Chinaa project known as Siberian Force 2.

According to the Kremlin leader, when the pipeline comes into service it will be able to route “50,000 million cubic meters of gas” to the Asian giant.

Russia – under Western sanctions due to the offensive in Ukraine that affects its energy exports – seeks to reorient the production of Russian hydrocarbons and the energy demand of the Asian giant, the second world economy, seems to offer excellent prospects.

On the other hand, Xi’s visit to Moscow also represents personal support for Putin, who has been subject to an arrest warrant since last week by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children, considered crimes of war.

In this context, the president of the Asian superpower indicated that he had invited his Russian counterpart to China, “this year, when he can”, despite this request for the arrest of the court based in The Hague.

Putin assured that both countries have “numerous common goals” and praised China for its “fair and balanced position on the most pressing international issues.”

Meanwhile, Xi declared that China is “ready to stand firmly by Russia’s side” for the sake of “true multilateralism.”

AFP's photo
Photo: AFP.

Visit to kyiv of the Japanese Prime Minister

This summit in Moscow coincided with the surprise visit to Kiev by Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, the country that is chairing the G7 this year and so far the only leader of that group who had not traveled to Ukraine since the start of the war on 24 February of last year.

In this framework, Zelenski announced that he will participate in May by videoconference in the summit of Western powers of the G7 in the Japanese city of Hiroshima to be held in May.

During his stay, Kishida visited Bucha, a town on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, where Russian troops were accused of committing atrocities last year.

“Standing on Bucha and witnessing all the brutalities that have been committed there, I feel a strong indignation,” said the Japanese president.

Ukraine celebrated Kishida’s “historic visit” as a “gesture of solidarity” from the Asian country after more than a year of the Russian offensive.

It is the first time that a Japanese premier has visited a conflict zone since the defeat of the Japanese Empire in World War II, after which the country adopted a pacifist Constitution.

Current situation of the Ukraine-Russia conflict

Meanwhile, in the territory, Ukraine said Tuesday that several Russian cruise missiles were destroyed in Crimea, a version denied by Russia, which said it repelled a drone attack on the annexed Ukrainian peninsula but that another hit an oil pipeline in the southwest. Russian.

“An explosion in the town of Djankoi in northern Crimea destroyed Russian ‘Kalibr NK’ cruise missiles while they were being transported by rail,” the Information division of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported on Telegram.

This source did not provide further details or confirm if there was a direct involvement of the Ukrainian Army.

Russia, for its part, denied these claims and said that it shot down several Ukrainian drones in Crimea, a few days after Putin’s visit to the peninsula annexed by Moscow after a popular referendum in 2014.

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