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article imageChina expresses opposition to further sanctions on Russia

By Ken Hanly     Sep 24, 2014 in Politics
Moscow - China has been careful in its responses to the Ukrainian situation. While it wants to retain Russia as an ally it is concerned that the Crimea referendum could set a precedent for areas such as Tibet, which is part of China.
The European Union has threatened Russia with further sanctions after Russia was accused of sending troops into Ukraine to help separatists in their battle with Ukrainian forces. There are divisions among European leaders and it is not clear when any further sanctions might come into effect.
Spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Qin Gang, said: "A political solution is the only way out, sanctions do not help to solve the underlying problems in Ukraine. It may lead to new and more complicating factors." China has said also that it respects Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and wants to develop friendly relations with it.
In a joint statement released during an official visit of Russian president Vladimir Putin to China both countries rejected the use of sanctions as political tools. As well the two condemned attempts to "encourage and finance" regime change a clear swipe at US actions in Ukraine and elsewhere to ensure election of pro-western regimes in countries around the periphery of Russia.
Sanctions by the west have encouraged Russia to turn east and in particular to grow business and trade with China. The two countries have already signed numerous, energy and business deals. The joint statement promised " a new stage in full-scale partnership and strategic relations". The two countries agreed to coordinate foreign policy where they have common priorities. President Putin said: “We have common priorities on a global and on a regional scale. We’ve agreed upon closer coordination of our foreign policy steps, including those in the UN, BRICS and APEC"
Both countries oppose attempts by the US and EU to impose sanctions. The joint statement said: “The parties stress the necessity to… reject unilateral sanctions rhetoric.Economic restrictions applied as punishment are no better than financial aid to forces that seek “a change in constitutional system of another country,” Russia has accused the US of spending $5 billion to promote regime change in the Ukraine.
Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament also noted China's objections to sanctions against Russia. She said that both Russia and China believe that the sanctions are an attempt "to exert pressure on sovereign states to change their position and to weaken them and suppress their development." She thanked China for taking a public position in opposition to the western sanctions imposed upon Moscow. She noted also that Moscow and Beijing shared many common positions on a number of global issues.
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