Russia and China agree to expand cooperation

Russia and China have agreed to expand cooperation as the rift between Moscow and Western countries widens following the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is visiting China’s interior Anhui province for a foreign ministers’ conference on Afghan issues. He met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Wednesday.

The two men exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov explained developments with Russian forces, while Wang reiterated his opposition to sanctions that other countries have imposed on Russia.

Lavrov told Wang that international relations are at a turning point in history. He called for the construction of a “multipolar, just and democratic world order”.

China’s Foreign Ministry later said Lavrov told Wang that Russia would continue to hold ceasefire talks with Ukraine and also maintain communication with members of the international society.

Lavrov’s visit to China is the first by a Russian minister since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Beijing for the opening of the Winter Olympics. The two leaders issued a joint statement on strengthening relations.

Observers say Russia hopes the latest talks demonstrate that ties between Moscow and Beijing remain unshakeable after the invasion of Ukraine, as it seeks additional support from China.