Putin and Xi accuse NATO of having a Cold War ideology as Russia threatens a former Soviet republic with war

American Age Official
Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in Beijing, China on February 4, 2022.Getty Images

  • Putin and Xi accused NATO of having a Cold War ideology.

  • This came even as Russia threatens Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, with invasion.

  • Putin and Xi met in Beijing on Friday as the Winter Olympics began.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping called for NATO to halt expansion as they met in Beijing on Friday.

The two leaders, who often align on geopolitical issues, accused NATO of harboring a Cold War ideology — even as Russia threatens Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, with the prospect of an invasion.

China and Russia “oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon its ideologized cold war approaches, to respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, the diversity of their civilizational, cultural and historical backgrounds, and to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards the peaceful development of other States,” a joint statement released by the Kremlin said.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a separate statement said the two leaders “had an in-depth and thorough exchange of views on China-Russia relations and a series of major issues that concern international strategic security and stability.”

Russia has gathered over 130,000 troops on Ukraine’s border since late 2021. The Biden administration has warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could occur at any time, though has also said it’s not clear if Putin has decided to take military action. The US has also accused Russia of seeking a pretext for invasion, including by planning a staged video that would feature a fabricated Ukrainian attack.

In 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. The Kremlin has also supported rebels against Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbass region since that year.

Experts say that Putin’s bellicose posture toward Kyiv is linked to his ambitions of restoring Moscow’s hegemony in countries formerly part of the Soviet Union. Putin, a former KGB operative, has referred to Ukrainians and Russians as “one people.”

Despite his history of aggression toward Ukraine, Putin has blamed NATO for the contentious situation. Russia has made demands for binding security guarantees from the West, including banning Ukraine and Georgia from ever joining NATO. The US and NATO have repeatedly said this demand is a non-starter, and that the alliance’s open door policy is not up for debate.

Putin was in Beijing on Friday as the Chinese capital held the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics. Last month, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman suggested Putin would be unlikely to invade Ukraine during the Games, in order to avoid antagonizing Xi.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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