July 19, 2024

Athens News

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The West Tried to Isolate Putin, But Failed — Bloomberg

The Russian president is in a diplomatic swirl that undermines Western attempts to portray him as isolated over the war in Ukraine, Bloomberg reports.

In just two months since the start of his fifth term, Putin has held more than 20 meetings with leaders from Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. He has also made six foreign visits, despite his limited travel opportunities. It shows that the Russian leader’s efforts to court the so-called Global South as a counterweight to the U.S.-dominated world order are paying dividends.

Dialogue with Xi

Putin wasted no time in renewing his friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, flying to Beijing just over a week after being sworn in for another six-year term. They met again this month on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Kazakhstan. Xi, whose support helped Russia resist unprecedented Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine, said China had “always stood on the right side of history” as he and Putin pledged to “strengthen comprehensive strategic coordination.”

Modi's visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow this week, his first in five years, sends a clear signal of India’s determination to stay close to Russia amid the deepening Sino-Russian embrace. New Delhi remains a major buyer of Russian arms even as it diversifies its defense needs and becomes increasingly dependent on discounted oil from Russia since the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine.

Orban's “peace mission”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, has defied criticism from other leaders EU on his self-proclaimed peace initiative. Orban, who is considered the most Russia-friendly figure in the 27-nation bloc, previously visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and traveled to China after talks with Putin to meet Xi.

Erdogan's invitation

Putin met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the first time since September last year on the sidelines of the SCO summit. They discussed booming Russian tourism to Turkey and the Akkuyu nuclear power plant that Rosatom is building in the country. Erdogan said NATO member Turkey wants to “further develop warm relations” with Russia and invited Putin to visit “very soon.”

Alliance with North Korea

In June, Putin made his first trip to North Korea in 24 years, where he signed a mutual defense pact with leader Kim Jong-un, who promised “unconditional” support for Russia. The military partnership has fueled fears that Russia could provide advanced weapons technology to the isolated communist state. From Pyongyang, Putin traveled to Vietnam, which ignored U.S. complaints about its reception of the Russian leader.

More high-level meetings are on the horizon when Russia hosts the expanded BRICS summit in Kazan in October. That is likely to give Putin the chance to meet with the leaders of Brazil, India, China, South Africa, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates, the American newspaper notes.

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