Putin in China to cement key allianceAgence France-Presse . Beijing
Russian president Vladimir Putin met his Chinese counterpart Tuesday on a visit aimed at bolstering a crucial alliance, with the two neighbours set on blocking international action against Syria.
Putin told Hu Jintao ties between the two nations had reached ‘new heights’ as he kicked off the three-day China visit, his first to Asia since starting an historic third term last month.
Putin will also meet the presidents of Iran and Afghanistan as part of a regional summit during the visit, which comes just weeks after he cancelled a trip to the United States.
But the growing international pressure for action on Syria—a Soviet-era ally that Moscow still supplies with arms—is expected to dominate.
Beijing and Moscow have walked in lockstep on Syria to the anger of Arab and Western nations, with EU president Herman Van Rompuy telling Putin in Russia on Monday that world powers needed to ‘find common messages on which we agree’.
Known for confronting the West repeatedly during his 2000-2008 presidency, Putin pointedly skirted the issue of Syria during a briefing Monday with EU leaders, noting only that ‘our positions do not coincide on every issue’.
Putin has been keen to play up the importance of Russia’s at-times uneasy ties with China, which have grown stronger in the past year as both used their veto power on the UN Security Council to block action against Damascus.
‘Through the sustained efforts of both sides, the Russia-China overall strategic cooperative partnership relationship has attained new heights,’ he told Hu.
comments powered by Disqus
Date:Wednesday, 6th June, 2012