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Arms delivery to Russia | Blinken sees a “marriage of convenience” in the Russian-Chinese rapprochement


(Washington) The Russian-Chinese rapprochement looks like “a marriage of convenience” rather than “belief”, said Wednesday the head of the American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, according to whom Beijing has not yet delivered lethal weapons to Moscow at war in Ukraine.

“Partly because they have a very different view of the world from ours, they entered into a marriage of convenience. I’m not sure it’s conviction, “said the Secretary of State when hearing the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Russia is clearly the junior partner in this relationship,” he added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited for a two-day trip to Russia focused on strengthening ties with his counterpart Vladimir Putin.

During this visit, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping on Tuesday praised the entry into a “new era” of their “special” relationship with the West, the Russian president cautiously supporting the Chinese plan to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.

“I’m not sure Russia or Putin want world order, more world disorder,” he said.

Before another parliamentary committee on Wednesday morning, the secretary of state indicated that China had not yet “crossed the line” of delivering lethal weapons to Russia.

“To date, we haven’t seen them cross that line,” he said.

For several weeks, American diplomacy has exerted intense diplomatic pressure on China to prevent it from delivering important military equipment to Moscow, mired in the conflict in Ukraine.

In mid-February, Washington announced that China was considering such an option, and there were reports of small shipments being sent by Chinese companies to Moscow.

Mr. Blinken again brushed aside Chinese peace proposals that Washington believes would only militarily advantage Russia.

“I think the diplomatic, political, and to some extent material support (from China) for Russia is of course against our interest in seeing this war end,” Mr. Blinken told Congress.

The Secretary of State also encouraged any country that receives Vladimir Putin on its soil to take the opportunity to extradite him, following the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“I think those who are members of the Court and who have obligations must fulfill those obligations,” he said, answering the question of whether the United States would arrest Mr. Putin if he went to American soil. The United States is not a member of the ICC.

And a law dating from 2002 in principle prevents the US government from formally assisting the Court.

“I don’t think he plans to come here anytime soon,” Blinken added, declining to say what the United States would do in that case.

Mr. Putin’s last visit to the United States was in 2015 when he attended the UN General Assembly.

Russia is part of the Apec forum which will hold a summit in November in San Francisco, but the United States is unlikely to invite the Russian president there.