China and Russia 'close' in views on US and Ukraine as Wang Yi visits Moscow
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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and China's Director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi attend a meeting in Moscow, Russia September 18, 2023. Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS
(Reuters) - Moscow's and Beijing's top diplomats noted "closeness" in their positions on Washington's "anti-Russian and anti-Chinese" stance and agreed any bid to resolve the Ukraine crisis must include Moscow, Russia's foreign ministry said early on Tuesday.
Wang Yi, Chinese leader Xi Jinping's point man for international dealings, is in Moscow for several days of security and foreign policy talks with Russian officials.
He arrived in Moscow directly from hours of talks in Malta with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan that the White House said on Sunday were "candid" and "constructive."
Russia's foreign ministry said in a Telegram statement after the Moscow talks that "the closeness of the positions of the parties regarding U.S. actions in the international arena, including those of an anti-Russian and anti-Chinese nature, was noted."
The ministry added that Wang briefed Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about "the content of negotiations" with Sullivan.
The U.S. and its allies have often said they are concerned about an increasing alignment between China and Russia, which firmed after Moscow sent thousands of troops to Ukraine in 2022, in what Washington and Kyiv say was an unprovoked act of aggression.
While not committing to defend each other's country with military support and with President Vladimir Putin leaning on Xi far more than China does on Russia, supplying Chinese demand for oil and gas, the two countries have said they drew closer to counterbalance the perceived U.S. domination of global affairs.
Wang's talks with Lavrov included preparations for Russia's participation in the third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in October, the Russian ministry said, without confirming whether Putin will attend.
"The negotiations took place in the trusting and constructive manner inherent in the Russian-Chinese dialogue," the ministry said.
It added that Lavrov and Wang talked "in detail" about Ukraine, "noting the futility of attempts to resolve the crisis without taking into account the interests and especially without the participation of Russia."
The war in Ukraine has claimed the lives of thousands of people, displaced millions, turned cities into rubble and has no end in sight.
Wang will hold "strategic security" talks later on Tuesday with Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia's Security Council, Russia's Interfax reported, before holding trilateral talks with Mongolian officials.
(Reporting by Ron Popeski and Lidia Kelly; Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)
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