Lavrov in China: backing from Beijing

China is one of the last countries to stand by Russia despite the war of aggression. During the visit to Beijing, Foreign Minister Lavrov emphasized the good relations – even if the reason for the meeting was actually different.

Russia and China are moving closer together amid war in Ukraine. For the first time since the invasion began, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in person in Tunxi, southeast China’s Anhui Province, with his counterpart Wang Yi, who welcomed him as an “old friend.”

“Strategic Partnership”

In a joint statement at the end of their talks, Lavrov and Wang Yi agreed to expand their “strategic partnership” in a “difficult international situation,” according to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow. They also wanted to coordinate more closely on foreign policy and appear with a common position in international affairs. “We will move together with you and other like-minded people towards a multipolar, just and democratic world order,” Lavrov said.

The second meeting of the ministers this year “underlines the intensity and the familiar character of the regular bilateral dialogue”. “We have the best relations with China in history,” Lavrov emphasized in an interview before the visit, according to his ministry. Most recently, the Foreign Minister had repeatedly emphasized that Russia was not isolated internationally, despite the sanctions imposed by the West because of the war in Ukraine. Other important partners such as Turkey and India do not support the West’s sanctions against Russia either.

Wang praises relationships

According to China’s Phoenix TV, Wang said there is “no limit to Sino-Russian cooperation, no limit to our efforts for peace, security preservation and against hegemony”. China is giving political backing to its geostrategic partner Russia in the Ukraine conflict and has refused to condemn the invasion to this day. Rather, Beijing portrays the US and NATO as the main culprits in the crisis.

Talks also with the USA – about Afghanistan

The official reason for the meeting is the two-day talks on developments in Afghanistan at the invitation of China, which are also attended by representatives of the USA, neighboring countries and the Taliban government that has been in power since August.

With a view to Afghanistan, an extended troika meeting was on the agenda, to which China invited Pakistan as well as Russia and the USA. The US special envoy for Afghanistan, Tom West, is to take part on the US side. A US State Department spokesman described the expanded troika forum as constructive. “It is crucial that the international community remains united in its stance on Afghanistan.”

Also talks with Taliban

The US is in line with the other members when it comes to the need for a “truly inclusive government” to be established in Kabul. The Taliban must also keep their promises to fight terrorism and rebuild the country to alleviate the suffering of the people. There is also a meeting of foreign ministers from neighboring countries, who will also meet with the Taliban government. Participating countries are also Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

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