Putin and Xi Join Together to Oppose NATO Expansion

President Xi Jinping of China offered support to Putin’s opposition to a NATO expansion in a choreographed meeting ahead of the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics. It was the first in-person meeting Xi has held with a foreign leader in nearly two years.

In a 5,300 word joint statement released by the Kremlin, China accused the United States of stoking protests in Hong Kong and encouraging independence in Taiwan, while Russia said the United States was playing a similarly destabilizing role in Ukraine.

Adding more fuel to the fire, Putin announced a new deal offering a bolstered energy alliance with Beijing.

Russia already sends gas to China by way of its pipeline in Siberia, but the new deal would offer additional sales to the state Chinese energy source via a new pipeline to be constructed within three years.

The Power of Siberia network is not connected to pipelines that send gas to Europe, which has faced surging gas prices due to tight supplies, one of several points of tension with Moscow.

Reuters, Washington Post, New York Times