Here’s what Putin and Xi agreed on when they met in Moscow
MOSCOW — Russia’s Vladimir V. Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, sought to project a sense of unity and normalcy on Tuesday, during the second day of Mr. Xi’s major state visit, which included the signing of 14 agreements.
“We signed a declaration on deepening strategic partnership and bilateral relations, which is entering a new era,” Xi said, following talks with Putin in the Kremlin. He added that his conversations with the Russian leader were “frank, friendly and fruitful”.
However, Alexander Gabuev, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, described the agreements as “quite thin.
He said these were mostly incremental updates to agreements the two sides agreed to before the summit, including an addendum to a 1997 agreement creating a framework for regular meetings between Chinese and Russian leaders and a deal on a nuclear power plant that Russia is already building in China. The two countries also agreed to cooperate “in the field of joint production of television programs”.
What was missing, Mr. Gabuev said, was a deal on a natural gas pipeline known as Power of Siberia 2 that Mr. Putin is keen to build to boost energy sales to China.
He noted that this was partly due to Mr Putin’s growing status as a global pariah, which was reinforced last week when the International Criminal Court announced an arrest warrant for him charging him with war crimes. in Ukraine.
“There’s a substantial agenda,” Mr. Gabuev said, “but there’s nothing where you can pin Xi Jinping down and say, ‘Oh, but with this deal you’re providing money to the treasury. Putin’s war. You funded this genocidal war in the midst of some sort of Russian terrorist campaign against Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.
It also lacked any public breakthrough to end the year-long war in Ukraine. Mr. Xi had defined his visit to Moscow as a peace mission, Mr. Gabuev said, but the result was a clear signal to the rest of the world that not only is China gaining influence in Russia, but that it also respects its own rules. .