Shoigu: Russia, China not in pursuit of creating military bloc

Sergey Shoigu Russia

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at negotiations with the Vice-Chairman of China's Central Military Commission Zhang Youxia in Moscow that relations between Moscow and Beijing are a model of strategic interaction based on trust and respect,

"Unlike some aggressive Western countries, we are not creating a military bloc. Relations between Russia and China are a model of strategic interaction based on trust and respect," Shoigu said.

He suggested "discussing further steps to increase bilateral cooperation in the defense sphere, as well as to exchange views on the international agenda."

"I am convinced that today's meeting will be another stride toward deepening multidisciplinary ties between our countries and defense ministries," Shoigu said.

Before the start of the talks, the Chinese military delegation was welcomed at the building of the national defense command center in a special ceremony with the participation of a guard of honor and a military band.

Before the meeting, Shoigu showed the guests a painting depicting representatives of World War II Allied Forces against the backdrop of the defeated Reichstag.

It was the second time the two men had met in the space of 10 days, following talks on the sidelines of a forum that Shoigu attended in Beijing on Oct. 30.

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping proclaimed a "no limits" partnership less than three weeks before Russia sent its troops into Ukraine last year, and China has refrained from criticising Moscow's actions there. The United States has warned Beijing against supplying Russia with weapons.

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