The pendulum has been swinging back and forth for centuries, and there is no sign that it will stop anytime soon. Russia has always been a country caught between two worlds. On the one hand, it has always been closely aligned with Europe, both politically and culturally. On the other hand, its vast size and location make it inevitable that Russia will also have strong ties to Asia. As a result, Russia has always been torn between these two worlds, and its leaders have oftenïvely tried to force the country into one camp or the other. However, the reality is that Russia will always be a hybrid of East and West, and its leaders would do well to embrace this fact.
Since coming to power in 1999, Russian President Vladimir Putin has frequently been at odds with the West. His decision to invade Ukraine in 2014 was widely condemned, and his country has since been hit with economic sanctions from the United States and European Union. In recent years, relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated even further. US President Joe Biden has called Putin a “murderous dictator,” while UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has dubbed him “a desperate rogue operator.” Despite the tensions, Putin remains a popular figure in Russia, with many people seeing him as a strong leader who is standing up to Western aggression.
It is well known that the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China are two of the most powerful countries in the world. They are also two of the most populous countries, with a combined population of over 2.5 billion people. These two countries have much in common, not least of which is their shared world view. Both Russia and China promote the idea of an alternative world order: a “multi-polar world” in which their countries act as a counterweight to the West, in particular to the United States. This shared vision has led to closer ties between the two countries, and they have often acted in concert on the international stage. In recent years, however, tensions have begun to emerge, particularly over the issue of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Nevertheless, it is clear that the two leaders share a similar world view, and this is likely to continue to shape their foreign policy in the years to come.
The Samarkand summit marked a new high point in relations between Russia and China. President Putin’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart was the highlight of the event, as the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening ties. This is just the latest sign of the rapidly improving relationship between the two countries. In recent years, they have deepened economic ties, strengthened military cooperation, and increased cultural exchanges. The Samarkand summit is a clear indication that Russia and China are moving closer together than ever before.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization founded in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The main goals of the SCO are to promote stability and security in the region, to encourage economic cooperation, and to strengthen cultural and people-to-people ties. This week, the SCO will hold its annual summit in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. For Russian President Vladimir Putin, the event is an opportunity to demonstrate that, despite international sanctions and attempts by the West to isolate Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, Moscow still has powerful friends. As a member of the SCO, Russia shares a border with all but two of the other member states, making it an important partner in maintaining regional security. In addition, the SCO has been a valuable platform for economic cooperation, with various joint projects underway in areas such as energy and transportation. Given the importance of the SCO to Russian interests, President Putin is sure to use the summit as an opportunity to reaffirm Russia’s commitment to the organization and its goals.
Russia has been looking to increase its economic ties with China in recent years, and the latest move by its state-run energy giant Gazprom is part of that effort. Gazprom has agreed to sell natural gas to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) at a discount of around 20%, in a deal that is worth an estimated $400 billion. The discount is significant, as it will make Russian gas more competitive with other suppliers such as Qatar and Australia. The deal is also a boost for Gazprom, which has been struggling to find buyers for its gas in Europe. In addition to the discount, Gazprom has also agreed to build a new pipeline to China, which is expected to be operational by 2019. The move is part of Russia’s larger strategy of diversifying its economy and increasing its trade with Asia.
The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin comes at a crucial juncture, as both countries face significant challenges at home and abroad. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended economies and societies around the world, and China and Russia have been no exception. With vaccine rollout gaining momentum, there is hope that the worst of the pandemic may soon be behind us. However, the economic damage wrought by the pandemic will be felt for years to come. In this context, the talks between Xi and Putin take on added significance. The two leaders will discuss ways to further cooperate in combating the pandemic and mitigating its economic fallout. They will also likely address rising tensions between their countries and the West. Given the immense challenges facing both China and Russia, it is clear that cooperation between Beijing and Moscow is more important than ever before.
The meeting between President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping comes at a crucial juncture for U.S.-China relations. Just weeks before Xi is expected to secure an unprecedented third term in power at a key ruling Communist Party congress set for mid-October, the two leaders will have an opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues that have strained relations between their countries. Chief among these are trade and North Korea, with the U.S. seeking greater access to the Chinese market and China unable to rein in the North Korean regime’s nuclear ambitions. While it is unlikely that any concrete agreements will be reached on these thorny issues, the meeting nonetheless provides a valuable opportunity for the two leaders to get to know each other and build a foundation for future cooperation.
China and Russia have been strengthening their economic ties in recent years, with Chinese companies investing heavily in the Russian economy and the two countries collaborating on a number of key projects. This closer economic cooperation has been beneficial for both countries, with China gaining access to important resources such as oil and wheat, and Russia receiving much-needed investment. However, not everyone is happy with this closer relationship, with some Chinese state-owned financial institutions staying away from Russia for fear of violating international sanctions. Nonetheless, the overall trend is towards closer economic cooperation between China and Russia, which is likely to benefit both countries.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said he expects China-Russia trade to set “new records” in the coming months, which was a testament to “the great cooperation between our two nations,” according to a translation by Russian state television. Speaking via video at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in June, Xi said that the two countries had been able to weather the global pandemic thanks to their “powerful partnership.” He added that China and Russia had worked together to ensure the stability of global energy markets and supported each other on issues like climate change. Xi’s comments come as the two countries are preparing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations later this year. trade between China and Russia has grown steadily in recent years, reaching $108 billion in 2019. However, it is still well below the $500 billion target that Putin has set for 2024.
The Kremlin’s pivot east has been widely reported, and it’s certainly a significant shift in policy. However, it’s important to remember that Russia is not just a European country. This vast nation spans two continents, Europe and Asia. With a population of over 140 million people, Russia is one of the most populous countries in the world. And with an area of almost 10 million square kilometers, it is also one of the largest. The sheer size of Russia means that it has always been a key player on the world stage. As the Kremlin Looks eastward, the rest of the world would do well to remember that Russia is not just a European power, but a Eurasian one.
The US’s recent actions against both Beijing and Moscow has led to speculation about the future of relations between the two countries. Some believe that the upcoming summit between the two leaders will further deepen and expand their relations in a variety of areas, mostly due to solid political trust and economic complementarity. However, others believe that the US offensives may strain relations between the two countries. Only time will tell what effect the summit will have on their future relations.