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China promises Russia "sovereignty and security" backing

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Chinese President Xi Jinping

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that the former's government would support the latter's on "sovereignty and security", Agence France-Presse reported, citing Chinese state media. The offer was made in a phone call, the report stated.

The phone call on Xi's 69th birthday was the second known communication between the two since Russia initiated its armed offensive over Ukraine in late February.

Beijing, who had never criticised the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was accused of offering diplomatic cover for Moscow by violating Western sanctions and arms sales to Kyiv, Agence France-Presse reported.

Xi further lauded the "good momentum of development" in bilateral relations between China and Russia since the start of 2022, amid "global turmoil and changes".

Further, Xi's government was willing to strengthen strategic coordination between the two powers, the state media reported.

Earlier, the European Union and the United States have warned China against supporting Russia in its offensive on Ukraine. Helping Moscow and bypassing the West's sanctions over it would affect the West's ties with Beijing, the duo had warned.

Along with China, India also had not taken retaliatory measures against Russia.

Meanwhile, Beijing stated that European governments have allowed themselves to support Ukraine at Washington's bid while they remain as Russian gas consumers.

China and Russia, bitter enemies during the Cold war, have built positive relationships and improved cooperation as they believe the US is dominating the globe. The two powers made close ties in the political, trade and military spheres as part of the so-called 'no limits' relationship.

Last week, they inaugurated the first road bridge linking the two, which connects the far eastern Russian city of Blagoveshchensk with the northern Chinese city of Heihe.

Xi had also invited Putin, his 'old friend', to the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics in early February.

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TAGS:China Russia Ukraine Xi Jinping Vladimir Putin India sovereignty security sanctions US European Union the West 
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