Russia and China Bolster Security Ties to Counter U.S. Influence in Europe and Asia

Lavrov noted the suggestion by President Vladimir Putin to fortify Eurasian security, leading to an agreement on initiating dialogue to include like-minded partners.

In a significant move to counter U.S. influence, Russia and China have committed to enhancing security collaboration throughout Europe and Asia.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, emphasized this commitment after discussions in Beijing, stating, “Russia and China have agreed to discuss ways to deepen security co-operation across Europe and Asia to counter attempts by the United States to impose its will on the region.”

This declaration follows the establishment of a “no limits” partnership between the two nations in February 2022, which was solidified just before Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, marking the most severe conflict in Europe since World War II.

Lavrov noted the suggestion by President Vladimir Putin to fortify Eurasian security, leading to an agreement on initiating dialogue to include like-minded partners.

He criticized existing Euro-Atlantic security structures, such as NATO and the OSCE, for their inefficacy in fostering meaningful negotiations based on interest balance.

Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, echoed this sentiment, urging a stance against “hegemonism” and bloc confrontations, specifically advising NATO against expanding into their mutual region.

The backdrop to these talks includes a stark portrayal by the United States of China and Russia as major threats, with U.S. President Joe Biden framing the current era as a critical battle between democracies and autocracies.

The alignment of Putin and Xi on a global vision counters Western ideologies and aims to challenge U.S. dominance in several advanced technological and military areas.

Amidst these geopolitical tensions, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reported challenging discussions with Chinese officials regarding their cooperation with Russia, cautioning against assistance to Moscow’s activities in Ukraine and hinting at potential “significant consequences.”

She also mentioned the possibility of tariffs on Chinese clean energy imports to protect U.S. industries.

Amid escalating sanctions from the U.S. and its allies, primarily against Moscow due to the Ukraine conflict, China and Russia have seen a strengthening in their trade and military relations.

In 2023, bilateral trade surged to a record $240.1 billion, a 26.3% increase from the previous year, with China becoming the top recipient of Russian crude oil despite Western sanctions.

China has proposed a diplomatic approach to the Ukraine crisis, advocating for an international conference to explore all peace options fairly.

Concurrently, Russia seeks a United Nations Security Council review of Ukrainian drone strikes on the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which Ukraine denies orchestrating.

Both nations have pledged to bolster their partnership against terrorism, following an attack near Moscow claimed by the Islamic State, which Russia attributes to Ukraine without providing proof.

This strengthening of ties underscores a significant pivot towards multilateral cooperation in security, trade, and counter-terrorism efforts, setting the stage for further discussions between Putin and Xi, anticipated during Putin’s planned visit to China in May.