Russia’s reliance on China rises amid Ukraine sanctions
By JOE McDONALD
BEIJING (AP) — President Vladimir Putin gushed about China’s economic success as he welcomed Chinese leader Xi Jinping to the Kremlin this week. China isn’t just Moscow’s diplomatic partner in opposing what they see as U.S. domination of global affairs. Its thriving economy is the biggest buyer of Russian oil and gas. That pumps billions of dollars into Putin’s treasury and helps the Kremlin resist Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine. Putin welcomes the lifeline, though the reliance is accelerating Russia’s slide into the junior role in an uneasy relationship with Xi’s government. The importance of that relationship only increased for both sides as Washington imposed sanctions on Russia and restricted Chinese access to U.S. technology on security grounds.