Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow to discuss a wide range of issues.
The two leaders have frequent meetings as part of Russia and China’s joined membership of the BRICS economic cooperation union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as well as discussions on China’s ‘One-belt–One road’ global trade and infrastructure project. The Russian organised Eurasian Economic Union also looks to play a major role in China’s future plans for modernising global trading mechanisms.
The two diplomats confirmed the continued willingness of Russia and China to forge ever closer relations in crucial areas of trade and geo-political cooperation.
China affirmed that it offers its full support to Russia’s Astana Peace Process in Syria and will look for new ways to contribute to the efforts to bring the terrorist assault on Syria to an end.
A great deal of the press conference between Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi covered the North Korean issue. Both leaders agreed that the US deployment of the THAAD anti-missile defence system to South Korea is a contributing factor to tensions in the region. The deployment of THAAD has been opposed by many South Korean citizens.
Sergey Lavrov stated,
“We noted that attempts to use Pyongyang’s actions as a pretext to boost military presence in the region, including the deployment of another part of the US’ global anti-missile defence (THAAD), are counterproductive
We are for adopting measures that, on the one hand, would hamper the further development of the North Korean nuclear missile programs, but at the same time would not lead to an increase in tensions in the region, would not block the possibility of a political and diplomatic settlement of the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear problem”.
Wang Yi spoke of the issue saying,
“We insist on ensuring peace and stability on the (Korean) peninsula, (oppose) any negative actions and statements that contribute to tension, oppose the deployment of the THAAD system in the Republic of Korea under the pretext of the DPRK nuclear problem”.
While both sides condemned North Korea’s weapons programme they equally condemned the use of military force in order to solve the crisis.
Wang Yi continued,
“Military actions can only escalate the crisis and bring serious consequences. No matter it was in the past, or in the future, it should not be an option for any country. China and Russia have reached consensus on this issue”.