Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin will arrive in Beijing today. Mishustin’s two-day visit comes at the invitation of his Chinese
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin will arrive in Beijing today.
Mishustin’s two-day visit comes at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Li Qiang, and the Russian delegation includes several sanctioned tycoons. The two sides are expected to discuss bilateral economic relations, focusing on energy, industry, agriculture and transport infrastructure. Mishustin is also expected to speak at a Shanghai business forum.
The trip follows Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy last month, in which Xi reiterated his commitment to promote a peaceful resolution to the war in Ukraine. Soon thereafter, Chinese Special Envoy Li Hui visited both Moscow and Kyiv to discuss possible diplomatic resolutions. Still, China has become a critical ally to Russia even as Xi insists that China remains neutral in the conflict.
Russia’s exports to China rose by over a third following the invasion of Ukraine, making China its most crucial trade partner. Chinese imports of Russian oil, gas, coal and agricultural products, which are mostly sanctioned by Europe, have surged. Further, during Xi’s visit to Moscow in March both sides agreed to further expand economic cooperation and trade; Mishustin’s visit appears to be part of that agreement. Expect Mishustin to try to secure Chinese investment and trade deals to further circumvent Western sanctions.