Vladimir Putin probably failed to secure the kind of partnership he had hoped for, and Xi Jinping secured more declarations from Moscow than the Russian president had planned, the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assesses in a recent report.
“The second day of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to suggest that Putin has not been able to secure the no-limits bilateral partnership with China that he likely hoped for,” ISW assesses.
The institute notes that the two leaders signed a document on deepening comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation.
According to ISW, however, Xi and Putin’s declarations were noticeably asymmetrical, indicating that the Chinese leader agrees to a more restrained version of the relationship than Putin would probably have expected.
“Xi praised Putin, reaffirmed China’s commitment to Russia in the UNSC, and amplified China’s position on a political settlement of the war in Ukraine; but Xi did not go much further than offering those statements,” the think tank notes.
“Putin, by contrast, announced a number of measures that signal Russia’s continued orientation towards and dependence on China in the energy and economic sectors, which appear very one-sided compared to Xi’s relatively tempered commitments,” reads the ISW analysis.
As noted, the Chinese leader has not signalled any intention to support Russia in the war against Ukraine beyond vague diplomatic assurances. According to ISW, Putin probably hoped for more in the talks.
According to ISW, Russia most likely intends to use its seat on the UN Security Council to “project power” before taking over the rotating presidency of the structure. This includes the diplomatic game around the forced deportation of children from Ukraine. According to ISW, Russia will use its veto power in the UNSC in the coming months.