Putin Meets with China’s Defense Minister in Moscow

April 17, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin met Sunday with China’s Defense Minister, Gen. Li Shangfu, in Moscow.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu joined the meeting, which was held less than a month after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s own three-day visit to Moscow.

The Sunday meeting also occurred just two days after China’s Foreign Ministry said it would not sell weapons to either side in the nearly 14-month-old Ukrainian-Russian War—a statement that countered U.S. intelligence that was revealed in recently leaked classified Pentagon documents. According to a top-secret U.S. intel summary dated February 23, China had approved the provision of lethal aid to Russia for its war in Ukraine but wanted any shipments to remain a secret.

This leaked intel would appear to confirm assertions by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who this past February said, “We have information that gives us concern that [the Chinese] are considering providing lethal support to Russia.”

China officially took a neutral stance in the war in February of 2022 ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, China and Russia struck a “no limits” partnership while Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting Beijing for the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

In comments ahead of Sunday’s meeting, Putin praised Russia-China relations.

“We are also working actively through the military departments, regularly exchanging information that is useful to us, cooperating in the field of military-technical cooperation, conducting joint exercises, moreover, in different theaters: in the Far East region, and in Europe, and at sea, and on land and in the air,” he said in a statement released by the Kremlin.

Li said that Russia-China relations “outperform the military-political unions of the Cold War era. They rest on the principles of nonalignment, and are very stable.”

During his three-day visit to Russia in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping posted an article in China’s largest state newspaper promoting a peace plan for Ukraine, saying it “reflects the broadest common understanding of the international community on the crisis.” It was quickly dismissed by Western officials as vaguely-worded and one-sided in Russia’s favor.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.



Get the featured stories in your email and don't miss out on important news.


AAA predicts busiest ever holiday travel season


AAA predicts busiest ever holiday travel season