Russia and China to talk about deeper security cooperation in Eurasia, Lavrov says

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting in Beijing, China April 9, 2024. Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via Reuters

By Reuters

Russia and China have agreed to discuss ways to deepen security cooperation across Europe and Asia to counter attempts by the United States to impose its will on the region, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday after talks in Beijing.

China and Russia declared a “no limits” partnership in February 2022 when President Vladimir Putin visited Beijing just days before he sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, triggering the deadliest land war in Europe since World War Two.

Lavrov, after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, said that Putin had suggested strengthening Eurasian security and that China and Russia had agreed to “start a dialogue with the involvement of our other like-minded people on this issue.”

“For a long time, there was a Euro-Atlantic security structure in the form of NATO, of course, as well as the OSCE, but it is striking itself out from the list of relevant structures within which it is possible to conduct meaningful negotiations and agree on something based on a balance of interests,” Lavrov said.

Russian news agencies quoted Wang as saying that the U.S.-led NATO alliance should neither extend its activities in the Asia-Pacific region nor promote confrontation.

The United States casts China as its biggest competitor and Russia as its biggest nation-state threat while U.S. President Joe Biden argues that this century will be defined by an existential contest between democracies and autocracies.

Putin and Xi Jinping share a broad world view, which sees the West as decadent and in decline just as China challenges U.S. supremacy in everything from quantum computing and synthetic biology to espionage and hard military power.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday that she had difficult conversations with China during her visit about China’s cooperation with Moscow. Yellen warned of “significant consequences”, opens new tab for any Chinese companies supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine.


China has strengthened its trade and military ties with Russia in recent years as the United States and its allies imposed sanctions against both countries, particularly Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine.

China-Russian trade hit a record of $240.1 billion in 2023, up 26.3% from a year earlier, according to Chinese customs data. Chinese shipments to Russia jumped 46.9% in 2023 while imports from Russia rose 13%.

China-United States trade fell 11.6% to $664.5 billion in 2023, according to Chinese customs data.

One year into the Ukraine war, China in 2023 published a 12-point position paper on settling the Ukraine crisis. Russia has said China’s position is reasonable.

Wang was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying that China wanted Russia and Ukraine to sit down at an international conference to discuss a way to cease the war in Ukraine.

Lavrov said Russia wanted the United Nations Security Council to give an assessment of Ukrainian drone attacks on the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station. Ukraine has denied it is behind the drone attacks.

Lavrov said Russia and China will continue to cooperate in the fight against terrorism as part of their ever-strengthening relationship.

Militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting at a concert venue near Moscow where at least 144 people died, but Russia, without providing evidence, has said it believes Ukraine was behind the attack.

“Our cooperation on counter-terrorism will continue, including within the framework of multilateral institutions,” Lavrov said.