Authorities in China, which is considered one of Moscow’s allies, have said they support Russia in maintaining national stability. The comment came a day after the attempted armed mutiny by businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin and mercenaries of the Wagner PMC, which he founded.
On Sunday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko held talks in Beijing “on international issues”. When exactly he arrived in the Chinese capital and whether his visit is related to the recent developments around Prigozhin, however, is not clear, notes Reuters.
“The Chinese side expressed support for the Russian leadership’s efforts to stabilize the situation in the country in connection with the June 24 events and confirmed its interest in strengthening Russia’s cohesion and further prosperity”, the Russian Foreign Ministry quoted the state news agency TASS as saying.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry initially reported only that Rudenko, in a conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, exchanged views on bilateral relations as well as on international and regional issues of mutual interest. Beijing later expressed support for national stability issues, noting that the recent escalation of tensions in Russia is an internal matter.
Prior to the information about the conversation with Andrey Rudenko, the Chinese side did not comment on the armed mutiny of Prigozhin’s mercenaries. Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking about the events, called it a “stab in the back”. Western leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, said they were closely monitoring the situation.
Recently, China has shown interest in the peaceful resolution of the situation in Ukraine. In April, Chinese leader Xi Jinping called President Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time since the war began. Chinese authorities have not publicly condemned, but have also not expressed support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, cooperation between Moscow and Beijing intensified with the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In March, Xi visited Moscow. There were fears in the West that China might start supplying Russia with weapons for the war, but there is no direct evidence of this.