PUTIN HAILS RUSSIA’S ‘STABILISING ROLE’ BEFORE MEETING WITH XI

President Vladimir Putin said Russia and China play an “important stabilising role” in international politics ahead of a meeting this week with Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Putin, who is heading to the Chinese capital to attend the Winter Olympics, said discussion of “relevant international topics” will be a key part of the visit, seemingly a reference to current tensions over Ukraine. He made the comments in a signed article published by China’s official Xinhua News Agency on Thursday.

“Foreign policy coordination between Russia and China is based on close and coinciding approaches to solving global and regional issues,” Putin wrote. “Our countries play an important stabilizing role in today’s challenging international environment, promoting greater democracy in the system of international relations to make it more equitable and inclusive.”

Putin’s call for stronger ties with China comes as tension mounts over Ukraine, with U.S. intelligence warning that Russia is preparing for an invasion. The Feb. 4 summit ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics will be the first in-person meeting between Putin and Xi in more than two years, as the two countries deepen their political, military, and economic ties to counter the West on the global stage.

The Russian leader is the highest-profile guest to attend the Olympics, which has been largely boycotted by political leaders from western democracies led by the U.S. over alleged human rights abuses in China’s western Xinjiang region. China has repeatedly rejected the charges and denounced the politicization of sports, a phrase echoed by Putin.

“Sadly, attempts by a number of countries to politicize sports for their selfish interests have recently intensified,” Putin wrote in the Xinhua article. “This is fundamentally wrong and contrary to the very spirit and principles of the Olympic Charter.”

News Source : Hindustan Times

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