‘Marriage of convenience’: US jibe at Putin-Xi meet in Russia

Washington: In President Vladimir Putin and Russia, the Chinese President Xi Jinping sees a counterweight to the American and NATO influence in the world, the White House said. The statement by John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the White House, came as Putin hosted the Chinese leader.

“I think you’ve seen over the years that these two countries are growing close together. I wouldn’t go so far to call it an alliance. … (it’s) a marriage of convenience, because that’s what I think it is. In President Putin and Russia, President Xi sees a counterweight to American influence and NATO influence, certainly on the continent and elsewhere around the world,” Kirby told reporters at a daily news conference here.

“In President Xi, President Putin sees a potential backer here. This is a man who doesn’t have a whole lot of friends on the international stage. They can count them on one hand mostly. He really needs and wants President Xi’s support for what he’s trying to do, because he’s blowing through inventory,” he said.

Referring to the joint statement after the Putin-Xi meeting, Kirby noted that in Ukraine the two sides just said, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be observed and international law must be respected.

“Well, we agree. Following the UN Charter would mean that Russia should withdraw from all the territory inside Ukraine, the territory of another member state of the UN, a member that it has invaded,” he said.

A day earlier, Kirby said that Russia is now a junior partner of China. “Do you guys view Russia at this point as a client state of China?” he was asked.

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