Russia’s pivot towards China could damage ties with Europe, Belgium’s top official says
June 07, 2019 @ 12:51 UTC
– Russia is experiencing tense relations with the U.S. and Europe and warmer ties with China.
– Xi described Russian President Vladimir Putin as his “best friend” on Wednesday.
– Europe and the U.S. continue to impose sanctions on Russia.
Russia might be enjoying a blossoming relationship with China but it should beware drifting away from its neighbor Europe in the process, according to Belgium’s deputy prime minister. Russia’s international relationships could be seen as ones of love and hate currently, with tense and fractious relations with the U.S. and Europe and increasingly warmer relations with China.
The apparent “special relationship” between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping was conspicuous at the start of Xi’s three-day state visit to Russia Wednesday as he praised Putin and pledged to deepen Sino-Russian cooperation.
Xi described Russian President Vladimir Putin as his “best friend” on Wednesday and vowed to foster deeper diplomatic and trade relations between the countries, a move that comes as both Russia and China’s relations with the U.S. remain tense amid U.S. sanctions on the former and tariffs on the latter.
Russia’s apparent ease with cozying up to China is likely to be closely watched by the U.S. and Europe – both of which have strained relationships with Russia. Both the U.S. and EU have imposed sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, role in a pro-Russian uprising in east Ukraine, and for U.S. election interference and the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent in the U.K.