NEW DELHI: Moscow is in “long term” talks with Beijing, struggling to finalize agreements for securing loans in the Chinese yuan, according to Russia’s finance minister. Amid shifting away from Western affiliations due to sanctions related to the Ukraine conflict, Russia’s trade with China has significantly increased. Efforts to obtain yuan loans have intensified since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, yet progress remains scant.Despite seeking Chinese capital to compensate for the shortfall from Western sanctions, finance minister Anton Siluanov acknowledged that an agreement remains elusive, a Newsweek report said.
Russia’s dependency on China
Solovyov, a known figure on the state-owned Russia-1 channel, highlighted the risks associated with Moscow putting all its “eggs in the Chinese basket,” similar to past reliance on Anglo-Saxon partnerships.
Solovyov’s comments underscore the growing unease within Russian political circles about the country’s dependency on China, especially in light of the ongoing geopolitical tensions and economic sanctions facing Russia. This is significant as it shows a rare admission of vulnerability from a close ally of Putin, reflecting internal debates over Russia’s international alignments and self-reliance strategies.
Between the lines
The relationship between Russia and China has been notably strong, with both nations maintaining diplomatic and economic ties despite global pressures. However, recent events, such as a Russian missile strike inadvertently damaging a Chinese consulate in Ukraine, have tested this alliance. These incidents, along with public criticisms from influential Russian figures, hint at potential cracks in the Sino-Russian partnership.
Zoom in
The backdrop to these developments includes Russia’s ongoing need for support amid sanctions and international isolation due to its actions in Ukraine. China’s neutral stance on the conflict, coupled with a “friendship with no limits” declaration, has been crucial for Russia. Yet, incidents that strain bilateral relations highlight the fragile balance Moscow must maintain in its foreign policy and alliances.
What next
The evolving dynamics between Russia and China warrant close observation. If Russia continues to face economic challenges and geopolitical isolation, its dependency on China may grow, potentially leading to a shift in the power balance within the partnership. Conversely, increasing internal criticism and strategic missteps could drive a wedge between the two nations, altering the geopolitical landscape significantly.


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