Ukraine strikes Russian soldiers stationed at Donetsk Vocational School

Putin reviews the honor guard with Xi Jinping in Beijing in June 2018.
Putin reviews the honor guard with Xi Jinping in Beijing in June 2018. (Greg Baker/Pool/AFP/Getty Images/FILE)

In his opening remarks during a video conference on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to visit Moscow next spring. He added that the two countries would strengthen cooperation between their armed forces and pointed to growth in trade despite “unfavorable market conditions”.

The bilateral relationship is “the best in history and has withstood any test,” he said. “We share similar views on the causes, processes and logic of the transformation taking place in the global geopolitical landscape.”

Xi also delivered his opening remarks, saying that “in the context of the difficult international situation, China is willing to strengthen political cooperation with Russia” and become a “global partner”, according to media translations. Russian state on the broadcast.

Moscow and Beijing have drawn closer together in recent years, with Xi and Putin declaring the two countries an “unlimited” partnership weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Since then, China has refused to condemn the aggression, instead repeatedly blaming the conflict on NATO and the United States – and remains one of Russia’s key remaining backers as it This is increasingly isolated on the international stage.

But more than 10 months after the fierce battle, the world looks much different – ​​and the dynamics between both partners has changed, experts say.

Instead of a quick, predictable victory, Putin’s invasion faltered with plenty defeat on the battlefield, include lack of basic equipment. Morale is low in parts of Russia, with many civilians facing economic hardship during the bitter winter.

On Thursday, Russia launched what Ukrainian officials describe as one of the biggest missile battleground since the war began in February, with explosions rocking villages and cities across Ukraine, damaging civilian infrastructure and killing at least three people.

Ukrainian officials have been warning for days that Russia is preparing to launch an all-out attack on the power grid to end 2022, leaving the country in the dark as Ukrainians try to celebrate the New Year and eat celebrate Christmas, which is the occasion to welcome the new year. The country’s Orthodox Christianity falls on January 7.

“China wants (the war) to end,” said Yun Sun, director of the China Program at the Washington-based think tank Stimson Center.

“Xi will try to emphasize the importance of peace to Putin,” she added. “As Russia is growing impatient with the lack of progress on the battlefield, the time is ripe for peace negotiations in the eyes of China.”

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