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New Western sanctions could push Russia into arms of China – top British MP

The remarks come as Moscow and Beijing emphasize their deepening ties amid an impasse in eastern Europe

If the US and its partners in Europe hit Moscow with crippling embargoes, Russia could seek more economic and political cooperation with Beijing and form a pact with China against the West, a leading British lawmaker has warned.

Speaking to Sky News from Kiev on Thursday, Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood set out his view on the standoff between the two eastern European nations and what impact punitive measures could have in the event of a Russian incursion.

Any sanctions that are imposed onto Russia, they will retaliate, and it will give [President Vladimir] Putin the excuse to pivot his country away from the West towards an alliance with China,” he remarked.

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Ellwood, who previously served as a defense minister in the British government, warned that Moscow strengthening its relationship with Beijing could create “massive implications for geo-security over the next few decades.”

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph during their meeting in Beijing, on February 4, 2022. © Alexei Druzhinin / Sputnik / AFP
China reveals position on NATO expansion

Western leaders have repeatedly sounded the alarm for weeks that Russia is bulking up its military presence at the shared frontier as a precursor to a full-blown offensive. The Kremlin has consistently rejected that it has any plans to attack. On Tuesday, Moscow’s Ministry of Defense announced that its troops had completed their training drills in Belarus, close to Ukraine, and would begin the process of withdrawing.

Amid accusations that Russia’s armed forces could strike, Moscow has looked to obtain security guarantees that would rule out NATO expansion closer to its borders, which China has voiced support for.

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Following a meeting in Beijing earlier in February ahead of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games, Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping backed a joint call for the US-led military bloc to refrain from wider enlargement.

“The parties oppose the further expansion of NATO and call for the North Atlantic Alliance to refrain from ideological approaches from the time of the Cold War,” the declaration published by the Kremlin reads.

Moscow and Beijing have emphasized the importance of their ties in recent months in an array of fields, including trade and defense. In December, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov revealed that Putin and Xi had stressed the need to create an independent financial system that cannot be influenced by third countries.

https://ift.tt/Nirshu9 19, 2022 at 03:46PM
from RT – Daily news

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