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Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping sign economic deal in latest show of ‘boundless friendship’

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping sign economic deal in latest show of ‘boundless friendship’

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed an agreement to expand their economic ties during a bilateral meeting in Moscow.

Xi is in Moscow for a multi-day series of meetings with his Russian counterpart, aiming to demonstrate the two countries’ new “boundless friendship”. Xi and Putin stressed the importance of jointly safeguarding their countries’ energy security.

Putin announced plans for a gas pipeline from Siberia to China ahead of the meeting, saying the deal was almost complete.

“We just discussed a good project, the new Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline through Mongolia. Practically all the parameters of this agreement have been finalized,” Putin told Xi at the start of the meeting, according to the Financial Times.

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Beijing has grown increasingly friendly with Moscow over the past year, as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine left the country largely ostracized on the world stage.

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Xi’s visit comes just days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin for war crimes committed in Ukraine. However, the pair called each other “dear friends” as they shook hands for the first time on Monday.

Putin alleged during Monday’s meeting that the Western world is conspiring to stifle Russia and China “by constantly working to divide the common Eurasian space into a network of ‘exclusive clubs’ and military blocs that would serve to contain the development of our countries”.

“This is not going to work,” he said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The exact details of Tuesday’s Russia-China economic deal have not yet been released.

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