Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping show their solidarity with Westerners | War in Ukraine

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Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping show their solidarity against the West | War in Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in discussion at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan.

Chinese Presidents Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin showed Thursday their desire to support each other and strengthen their ties in the midst of a crisis with Westerners, during their first meeting since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, at a time when relations between their countries and the United States are highly strained.

In this context, the rapprochement between Beijing and Moscow, whose relations are not free of friction, stands out against the United States, which they consider hostile to their interests.

China is willing to work with Russia to shoulder their great power responsibilities, play a leading role and inject stability and positive energy into a chaotic world, Xi Jinping said at the start. of the interview broadcast live.

According to Chinese state TV, Xi also told Putin that China is ready to work with Russia for firm and mutual support on issues related to each other's core interests and to deepen cooperation. .

Mr. Putin, for his part, denounced Western attempts to create a unipolar world, which have recently taken an absolutely ugly form and are totally unacceptable.

The presidents of China and Russia met in Samarkand, Uzbekistan for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the midst of tensions with Washington, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin want to show that their two countries are united against Westerners. The report of our correspondent in Asia, Philippe Leblanc.

The previous meeting between the two heads of state dates back to last February, when the Russian president visited the Winter Olympics in Beijing. They had then proclaimed their boundless friendship.

A few days later, Mr. Putin launched his troops against Ukraine.

While he praised Mr. Xi's balanced position on Ukraine on Thursday, the Russian head of state also said he understood (his) questions and (his) concerns on this subject. We will explain our position in detail, he added, without further details.

Beijing has neither publicly endorsed nor criticized the Russian invasion, while repeatedly expressing support for Moscow in the face of Western sanctions.

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The meeting between MM. Xi and Putin is the most anticipated event of the SCO summit which is due to last until Friday and which brings together several leaders, including those of India, Pakistan, x27;Iran, Turkey and Central Asian countries.

For Mr. Putin, who is striving to accelerate a turn towards Asia in the face of Western sanctions against his country following its offensive against Ukraine, where its army is struggling , this summit helps to show that Russia is not isolated.

Before Mr. Xi, he spoke with the presidents of Iran Ebrahim Raïsi, from Kyrgyzstan, Sadyr Japarov, and from Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdymoukhamedov, saying each time that they wanted to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

In Samarkand, Mr. Xi, who is making his first overseas trip to Central Asia since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, hopes to further cement his stature as a top leader ahead of the Chinese Communist Party Congress in October. , during which he is aiming for an unprecedented third term.

As if to signal their rapprochement in the face of tensions with the West, Russian and Chinese ships carried out a joint patrol in the Pacific Ocean on Thursday to strengthen their maritime cooperation, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

During the interview Thursday, Putin reiterated Moscow's support for Beijing over Taiwan, where visits by US officials in recent weeks have drawn the ire of the China, condemning a provocation.

The Chinese president also spoke with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, Moscow's main ally, who praised Beijing's serious support in this difficult period.

The x27;OCS, whose members are China, Russia, India, Pakistan and four former Soviet Central Asian republics, was established in 2001 as a tool for political cooperation , economic and security competitor of Western organizations.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization offers a real alternative to Western-oriented structures, assured the press on Tuesday the Kremlin's diplomatic adviser, Yuri Ouchakov.

The conflict in Ukraine, the situation in Afghanistan or the unrest that has shaken several Central Asian countries in recent months should feature among the main topics discussed.

Mr. Putin is due to hold talks with several other leaders, including Friday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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