Xi and Putin strengthen ties in areas of ‘strategic and military relevance’ | DW News

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday hailed the growth in bilateral trade between Russia and China and emphasized cultural exchange between the two superpowers. Visiting a trade fair in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin on the second day of his visit to China, Putin praised the historical cultural ties between the two countries and encouraged further economic cooperation, particularly in the development of new technologies.

Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the ensuing raft of Western sanctions, Russia has become increasingly dependent on China for its economic activity, with trade between the two countries increasing to $240 billion (€221 billion) last year. In return, Russia has provided China with cheap access to its vast natural resources, including oil and gas.

Putin had concluded the first day of his visit with a smaller meeting with President Xi at the Chinese leader’s residence in Beijing. According to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua, he thanked Xi for his "peace plan" for Ukraine — a proposal which was rejected by Western leaders last year since it didn’t include a Russian withdrawal from conquered Ukrainian territories — and welcomed Beijing’s "continuing constructive role" in attempting to find a political solution to the problem.

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