Putin’s Relationship With China May Be Breaking


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) in Moscow on July 20, 2023. and Chinese Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Director Wang Yi in Ankara, Turkey, on July 26, 2023. The Institute for the Study of War said China is seemingly “not interested in a ‘no-limits partnership’ with Russia as the Kremlin desires.”ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/POOL/AFP VIA GETTY; AFP VIA GETTY

The descriptions of a recent talk between Russia’s foreign minister and his Chinese counterpart could offer hints about how their countries are becoming increasingly distant on the issue of the Ukraine war, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The ISW, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, wrote in a Tuesday assessment about a Monday phone call between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Communist Party Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi. The conversation took place following China’s participation in a summit over the weekend in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, at which international officials discussed possible pathways for peace in Ukraine.

The ISW wrote that the Russian and Chinese foreign ministries “portrayed the conversation between Lavrov and Wang differently,” which could suggest “China is increasingly diverging with Russia on proposed settlements to end the war.”

Meanwhile, the United States—Kyiv’s largest financial and military backer—has publicly urged China to refrain from supporting Russia in its war with Ukraine, and Wang reaffirmed that his nation remains impartial on the war following the Jeddah summit. The ISW indicated that this public stance of neutrality is causing a fissure between Beijing and the Kremlin.

Shortly before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, he and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a “no limits” partnership agreement. They reaffirmed their countries’ strong ties when Xi visited Moscow in March 2023, but Xi also called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a month later and stated China’s devotion to facilitating peace.

The ISW wrote that public overtures from China about peace are likely upsetting the Kremlin. In its assessment, the think tank touched upon how the foreign ministries’ accounts of the call between Lavrov and Wang differed and how it could be a sign of a larger issue.

According to the ISW, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that Lavrov and Wang touched on a series of hot regional topics, including the war with Ukraine, while the Chinese Foreign Ministry reported that the Russian and Chinese sides exchanged views about the war.

The ISW added that “the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s description of the talks may suggest that the Kremlin is becoming dissatisfied with China’s continued efforts to promote its peace plan in international fora.”

Newsweek reached out to the Russian and Chinese foreign ministries via email for comment.

The ISW previously said Beijing is seemingly less invested in its partnership with Russia, which it noted following Xi’s meeting with Putin this year.

On Tuesday, the ISW wrote that the Kremlin’s likely displeasure about China’s public declarations of impartiality “is consistent with ISW’s previous assessments that China is not interested in a ‘no-limits partnership’ with Russia as the Kremlin desires.”


  1. Lover’s quarrels can often turn vicious. I hope this one will.

    Maybe the main reason why they are pissed at each other is that Wang Yi’s cheap Chinese-made limo broke down on his way to a bat virus land-mafia land meeting, and he told his servant to saddle up Liar-ov, since he thought that he’s a horse.

  2. If it wasn’t being reported by ISW I’d say it’s another bs story from the media. But ISW is really reputable and they don’t say things that aren’t at least fact checked. So I’m inclined to believe this story.

    • I’m with you Sir Cap, but I doubt this story. These 2 commie nations have nothing to lead their people with except to destroy the evil, prosperous West that is stealing everything from them. They’ve been doing it for decades and decades and have nothing else to offer. Separate they’re even weaker.

      • I think the Chinese are mostly concerned about their wallet.
        The Chinese economy is not doing well and war and instability is not what they need right now.

        So I do think they will be hesitant to support Russia too much because they don’t want any sanctions.

        • I agree. They are starting to realize that they need us more than they realized. Their ailing economy is Ukraine’s best friend, so to speak.

  3. “…an implicit pact between dictatorial regimes exists to weaken and destabilize democracies. Autocracies want to replace the international order as it has existed since the post-war period and which dominates international relations today… Today, 70% of the inhabitants of the planet live under an autocracy, compared to 40% in 2011”.

    You must not dream. We are facing a group whose hegemony and totalitarian appetites know no bounds.

    It is a club of violent and sub-humans who obey only the laws of their underworld: to deceive, to steal, to sequester, to violate…

    They will never betray themselves.


    • I agree with everything you say except for the last sentence. Never say never. Since both nations have no morals and no dignity, they will cut each other’s throats at the first possible opportunity. If we had a Chruchill or especially a Bismarck, we could create such a scenario. But, we have only dorks and oafs in high places.

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