Russia and China agree on common position on Ukraine following ministerial meeting in Beijing

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, reviews a military honour guard with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, June 8, 2018. Amid the soaring tensions over Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin is heading to Beijing on a trip intended to help strengthen Russia's ties with China and coordinate their policies amid Western pressure. (Greg Baker/Pool via AP, File)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Russia and China have reportedly agreed on a common position on Ukraine, following a meeting between the nations’ foreign ministers in Beijing on Thursday.

The visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was the first foreign political guest Beijing has received for nearly two years, but the exchange saw both sides coordinate their positions on regional issues of common interest, such as Ukraine, Afghanistan and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, a statement read.

Photos released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry showed both ministers greeting each other with their elbows while wearing masks.

China expressed “understanding and support” for Russia’s security stance on its relations with the United States and NATO, according to a statement.

Lavrov’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart acted as a precursor for an encounter between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who are expected to meet on Friday before attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Ukraine says Russia has deployed 115,000 troops near its borders, raising fears of a looming attack. Moscow denies any such plan, but international concern that Russia may be preparing for war is high.

Russia has called on NATO to ban Ukraine from joining the alliance and ordered its withdrawal from Eastern Europe.

The United States and its allies have warned that an invasion would trigger harsh economic sanctions and have rejected Russia’s demands for NATO.

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