Amidst growing pressure on China to refrain from sending weapons to support Russia in its war against Ukraine, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday held the first in-person meeting with his new Chinese counterpart and said the two countries have “far-reaching plans” for developing bilateral cooperation.
Lavrov and Qin Gang discussed the situation around Ukraine, including the Chinese Foreign Ministrys stance on the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following the meeting held on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in New Delhi.
“Sergey Lavrov and Qin Gang have also discussed the current situation around Ukraine, including the stance of the Chinese Foreign Ministry on the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, and considered a number of topical international issues,” Russias official Tass news agency quoted the statement as saying.
“We have confirmed a high degree of proximity and convergence of positions on all of the issues discussed. The parties expressed unanimous rejection of attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, to impose unilateral approaches through blackmail and threats, and to oppose the democratization of international relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“The foreign ministers expressed satisfaction with the high pace of the development of bilateral political dialogue and practical cooperation. They focused specifically on the implementation of the agreements reached by the two countries leaders,” it added.
On Thursday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz became the latest western leader to urge China to refrain from sending weapons to Russia and support Moscow in its war against Ukraine.
“My message to Beijing is clear: use your influence in Moscow to press for the withdrawal of Russian troops, and do not supply weapons to the aggressor Russia,” Scholz said in a speech to German parliament.
The US has said that China is considering supplying weapons and ammunition to Russia for the Ukraine war.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Chinese firms were already providing “non-lethal support” to Russia and new information suggested that Beijing could provide “lethal support”.
Such an escalation would mean “serious consequences” for China, Blinken warned recently.
Meanwhile, Russian foreign minister Lavrov congratulated Qin on his appointment as the Chinese foreign minister in December, expressing confidence that he would ensure “continuity and gradual progress in all domains agreed by the two leaders, in the spheres of trade, economy, and culture, too.” “We have very far-reaching plans for bilateral cooperation, and, certainly, a busy foreign policy agenda, taking into account the role Russia and China have been playing as a stabilising factor in the system of international relations,” Russias top diplomat said. “Thanks to the strategic guiding role of our leaders, our relations continue to develop steadily and healthily, setting a positive example of bilateral relations between major powers,” Qin said. Recently Comrade Wang Yi successfully visited Russia, where he exchanged views with you personally and also with the rest of his Russian colleagues, and [they] reached broad agreements. Wang, the Director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and a member of the CPC Politburo, visited Russia on February 21-22, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev and Foreign Minister Lavrov.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)