Russia: USA Hinders Trade with Beijing

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: “We agree on the need to strengthen defense and security cooperation”

Maria Zakharova

The USA is “trying to hinder in every possible way” the development of trade and economic exchange between Russia and China. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said this during the weekly press conference in Moscow. The Russian diplomatic representative called such a US position an “interference” in the relations of two sovereign states. Zakharova emphasized that threats of sanctions by the US against Russia and China will not lead to Moscow and Beijing “abandoning mutually beneficial cooperation.”

Earlier in an interview with RIA Novosti, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia and China agree on the importance of strengthening defense cooperation, specifying that this cooperation is not directed against third countries. “The basis of military engagement with China is defined by a high level of mutual trust. Russian-Chinese cooperation is aimed at strengthening international security and is carried out in accordance with international law. Joining our efforts is not directed against third countries. We and our Chinese friends have to account for negative military and political trends in the Asia-Pacific region and take measures to prevent any consequences,” the head of Russian diplomacy emphasized.

“We share the view that it is important to increase defense cooperation not only bilaterally but also multilaterally. This understanding is enshrined in the joint declaration signed following the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the People’s Republic of China. In essence, we are talking about expanding the scope of joint exercises and combat training, conducting sea and air patrols, developing joint response capabilities,” Lavrov said.