If you’re reading this, you probably know that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping had a meeting in China last week. It’s interesting stuff, so we’ll give you the highlights below of Putin Russia Ukraine War.
Both Leaders Agreed to Put a Stop to The Violence in Ukraine
– Russia and China agreed that Ukraine should remain within its current borders, with Kiev playing an important role in governing itself. They also pledged a “stronger relationship” between the military forces of their two countries.
– Putin also made a big deal about Ukraine’s debts and said China would provide some $20 billion in loans. Russia plans to make the IMF fund loans to Ukraine instead of the U.S. Russia will take charge of shipping oil and gas to Europe. So it’s not clear what they’re doing on the dollar front. In those comments, Putin also talked about peace in Syria but didn’t mention Obama’s intervention. In comments that were meant to embarrass Obama (as in, “We don’t want war like you’ve been imposing upon the world”). Xi said that he hopes for a “positive result” to the Syrian problem so that those forces who have been fighting can stop doing so.
He didn’t identify any of these forces by name or mention that the U.S. has spent more than $2 billion in Syria, arming and supporting rebels. He also claimed that “Syria is currently at a crossroads. There cannot be winners and losers on both sides of the Syrian conflict. China and Russia are allied with the Assad government. It is a bit disingenuous since there can be no winner in a civil war. Xi seemed to advocate for more direct action against the Assad regime at one point.
Russia Has Been Kicking The Tires on Iran’s Nuclear Program
Naturally, Iran is not too crazy about that and is planning on working with a “third party” to resist having its nuclear program dismantled. Putin and Xi both seemed to have some support for the Iranian centrifuges.
– Both leaders said they supported more Eurasia development, including the Trans-Siberian railroad. It would include road and transport links between Russia’s eastern border with China and its western border with Europe.
– Talks got personal during the meeting. Putin was critical of Obama, noting that he gets “an earful” from the U.S. This is a bit of an empty boast–Putin, a former KGB agent, has much more direct experience in that department than Obama. But it also demonstrates how much Putin feels his country has been disrespected and betrayed by Obama. Xi seemed to agree with this assessment and said he was frustrated about the U.S.
Zelensky is Freed City
– Putin Russia Ukraine war is the biggest issue right now; both leaders recognize that time is of the essence. They are also seriously trying to work together and reach a settlement. We’ll have to see how Putin Russia Ukraine War turns out, but it’s a good sign.
– Putin has been working hard on developing his friendship with Xi. In China, I don’t think we can underestimate the importance of Xi talking at length about how he’s looking forward to spending much more time with Putin. Putin is also sensitive to this “feeling out” process, saying he was happy to visit China as it’s where he’s always wanted to go.
– The takeaway from all this is that there are some serious divisions between Russia and China. They’re allied and have a lot of shared interests. But the difference in their power structure makes it difficult for them to be too definitive about anything. The best example of this is probably Syria. Both countries want Assad to stay in power, but neither country is willing to go all out to defend him.
– While the U.S. has big plans for Asia and is currently very focused on dominating China, it’s reasonable to assume that Russia and China will take more interest once Obama loses the next election. Russia may be willing to support Russia, China, and Iran against fracking in Syria, and they may (or may not) work more closely in Syria with the Assad government. Still, they’re not going to front any serious military activity in the Middle East to protect Assad from a rebel takeover.
– So the big winner here is still Putin. He’s running a country with an army bigger than the rest of the world. And has friends who are chomping at the bit to get his attention. Meanwhile, Zbigniew Brzezinski just got re-elected as president of his own country.
The 8th Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is scheduled to take place in Ufa, Russia, on June 8-10 of this year. Relations between India and China–the two largest members–have been a bit tense. Ever since the Chinese government detained an Indian fisherman early last year. And then forced him to confess that he had illegally entered Chinese waters. Chinese media has recently been pushing for “rethinking” of their relationship with India. The SCO expansion planned for this summer might be the best possible solution for both parties. The G20 will be the summit after that, and, this time, the “rethinking” will lead to a closer Indo-China alliance between India and China. This should finally concentrate all of their military spending on a single super-nation.
The Mood in Ufa is Upbeat
Putin said that China is willing to join Russia in building a new world economic system, even though he hasn’t produced one of his own. Xi’s people have been constructing it for him. On the same subject, Xi said he wants to add 120 billion dollars in co-investment with Russia. He did not specify any particular sectors he would like China and Russia to focus on.
– Both leaders referred to the special nature of their partnership and how much they appreciate each other. In China, this is just a talking point; in Russia, you can hear Putin mean what he’s saying. Xi also said that Russia and China wanted to develop the Silk Road Economic Belt and Trans-Siberian railroad. Putin chided him for not having done this already.
– Russia might/should be a bit concerned about Chinese cyberattacks on U.S. strategic systems–but it’s probably too late to do anything about it now.
– The primary issue that I think will come up in Ufa is the dispute between India and China over an enormous underwater oil field in the South China Sea.
Conclusion: Putin Russia Ukraine War
There’s a lot to digest here, and I’m sure we’ve missed a few things. There won’t be any more major developments on the Russia/China front until the next U.S. presidential election. And even then, it will be difficult to get a read on exactly what the two countries might do until they start doing it. The U.S. is trying to scramble to get its own house in order, making it all the more difficult for Russia and China to make any major strategic move they want. Still, they are both going to continue trying just in case they can break the cycle of American dominance.
– There’s a lot of loose threading and dangling out there, but I see no reason why the mainstream media won’t ignore these matters until after Putin and Xi take the helm of their countries’ respective political and economic systems.