Russia And China Buddy Up During Ukraine Invasion

Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images

Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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China avoided criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and approved more imports of Russian goods Thursday, which might weaken the effects of Western sanctions on Russia.

China is the only major nation that has not condemned the attack ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin and has accused the U.S. of “pouring oil on the flame” during the crisis, according to ABC.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the U.S. is guilty of “stirring up antagonism” between Russia and Ukraine during a Feb. 19 coference in Germany. Yi also said that the “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of any country should be respected” and “Ukraine is no exception,” according to ABC.

The country’s embassy in Ukraine told Chinese citizens to openly display Chinese flags in their homes and on their cars if they needed to travel, ABC reported. (RELATED: POLL: Americans Fear China’s Influence Over Russia’s Influence)

“We still hope that the parties concerned will not shut the door to peace and engage instead in dialogue and consultation and prevent the situation from furthers escalating,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, according to ABC.

Hua added that China does not believe Western sanctions on Russia will be an effective way to achieve a diplomatic solution.

“Since 2011, the US has imposed more than 100 sanctions on Russia. However, have the US sanctions solved any problem? Is the world a better place because of those sanctions? Will the Ukraine issue resolve itself thanks to the US sanctions on Russia? Will European security be better guaranteed thanks to the US sanctions on Russia? We hope relevant sides will give this some serious thought and strive to resolve issues through dialogue and consultation,” Hua said, according to the Chinese Embassy in the U.S.

Hua also echoed Yi’s accusation that the U.S. has stoked tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

“A key question here is what role the US, the culprit of current tensions surrounding Ukraine, has played. If someone keeps pouring oil on the flame while accusing others of not doing their best to put out the fire, such kind of behavior is clearly irresponsible and immoral,” she said.

China approved further imports of Russian wheat Thursday, which could allow Putin to circumvent sanctions placed on Russia by Western nations in response to the invasion, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Russia Suddenly Slows Gas Flow Into Europe)

Russia and China signed a 30-year contract worth billions in January to supply natural gas to China, according to ABC. The two countries opted to use the euro for payment instead of the U.S. dollar in an effort to become more independent from the U.S.’s currency.