A Russian-Chinese military alliance cannot be ruled out
MOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that a Russian-Chinese military alliance is not needed now, but noted that it could be forged in the future.
Putin’s statement signaled the deepening of ties between Moscow and Beijing amid growing tensions in their relations with the United States. The Russian leader also urged an extension of the latest arms control pact between Moscow and Washington.
Asked during a videoconference with international foreign policy experts Thursday whether a military union between Moscow and Beijing was possible, Putin replied that “we don’t need it, but, theoretically, it is quite possible to l ‘to imagine”.
Russia and China have hailed their “strategic partnership”, but have so far rejected any discussion of the possibility of forming a military alliance.
Putin pointed to the war games that the armed forces of China and Russia have held as a signal of the countries’ flourishing military cooperation.
Putin also noted that Russia shared sensitive military technology that has helped to significantly increase China’s military potential, but did not mention any details, saying the information was sensitive.
“Without a doubt, our cooperation with China strengthens the defense capacity of the Chinese military,” he said, adding that the future may see even closer military ties between the two countries.
“Time will show how this will evolve,” said the Russian president, adding that “we will not rule it out”.
Russia has sought to develop closer ties with China as its relations with the West fell to post-Cold War lows due to Moscow’s annexation of Ukrainian Crimea, accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and other disagreements.
Putin stressed on Thursday the importance of extending the new START treaty which expires in February, Russia’s latest arms control pact with the United States.
Earlier this week, the United States and Russia signaled that they were ready to make compromises to save the new START treaty just two weeks before the US presidential election in which President Donald Trump faces a tall order from former Vice President Joe Biden, whose campaign accused Trump of being gentle with Russia.
The new START was signed in 2010 by then US President Barack Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The pact limits each country to a maximum of 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, and contemplates extensive on-site inspections to verify compliance.
Russia had offered to extend the pact unconditionally, while the Trump administration initially insisted that it could only be renewed if China agreed to join. China refused to consider the idea. The United States recently changed its position and proposed a one-year extension of the treaty, but said it must be combined with the imposition of a wider cap on nuclear warheads.
The Kremlin initially resisted Washington’s request, but its position changed this week with the Russian Foreign Ministry declaring that Moscow can agree to a warhead freeze if the United States agrees not to make any additional requests.
Putin did not address the issue of freezing warheads, but stressed the importance of saving New START.
“The question is whether to keep the existing treaty as it is, to enter into a detailed discussion and try to reach a compromise in a year or to lose this treaty altogether, leaving us, Russia and the United States. , as well as the rest of the world, without any agreement restricting an arms race, âhe said. “I believe the second option is much worse.”
At the same time, he added that Russia “is not clinging to the treaty” and will ensure its security without him. He highlighted Russia’s perceived advantage in hypersonic weapons and said he was ready to include them in a future pact.
âIf our partners decide they don’t need them, well, so be it, we can’t stop them,â he said. “Russia’
Despite indications earlier this week that Russia and the United States are moving closer to a deal on the new START, Russia’s top negotiator said “dramatic” differences still remained and strongly cautioned Washington against any new request.
Sergei Ryabkov has warned the United States against demanding more intrusive control verification measures like those that existed in the 1990s and that are not contemplated by the new START. The diplomat argued that new control mechanisms could be discussed as part of a future deal, stating strongly that Russia would not accept the request which amounts to “legitimate espionage”.
“If this does not suit the United States for some reason, then there will be no deal,” Ryabkov said, quoted by the Interfax news agency.