March, 22, 2023
1. Chairman Xi Jinping visit to Moscow: major results
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese guest Xi Jinping have signed 14 joined documents on increased cooperation in fields ranging from trade and industry to science and the military. The two leaders also touched on the prospects for peace in Ukraine.
Russia and China signed the Joint Statement on Deepening the Russian-Chinese Comprehensive Partnership and Strategic Cooperation for a New Era, as well as the Joint Statement by the President of Russia and the President of China on the Plan to Promote the Key Elements of Russian-Chinese Economic Cooperation until 2030.
The parties expressed their intention to provide strong mutual support in defending each other's core interests, above all sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and development.
The two sides have agreed to further develop of the comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China, and to deepen their cooperation on the international stage.
The sides reiterate that there can be no winners in a nuclear war, and it must never be fought.
All nuclear powers must not deploy nuclear weapons outside their national territories and must withdraw all nuclear weapons deployed abroad.
Russia and China expressed concern over the intensification of U.S. efforts to build a global missile defense system and deploy its elements in various regions of the world, combined with the buildup of high-precision non-nuclear weapons for disarming strikes and other strategic capabilities, as well as the U.S. desire to deploy land-based intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific and European regions and to transfer them to its allies.
Russia and China oppose attempts by individual countries to turn outer space into an arena of armed confrontation and will oppose activities aimed at achieving military superiority and using it for military operations.
Moscow and Beijing agreed to “regularly conduct joint maritime and air patrols and joint exercises,” develop military exchange and cooperation using all available bilateral mechanisms, and increase mutual trust between their armed forces.
Despite the consequences of the pandemic and the sanctions pressure, trade reached a historic high of $185 billion in 2022. Both sides expect that Russian-Chinese trade will reach $200 billion by the end of 2023. Russian gas supplies to China climb up at least to 98 billion cubic metres by 2030, plus 100 million tonnes of LNG.
“This is an example of how world powers, who are permanent members of the UN Security Council and have a special responsibility for maintaining stability and security on the planet, should interact,” Vladimir Putin said at the ceremonial dinner.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised Beijing's 12-point peace roadmap for Ukraine, during a summit with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
“We believe that many of the provisions of the peace plan put forward by China are consonant with the Russian stance and can be taken as a foundation for a peaceful settlement when they are ready for it in the West and in Kiev. However, so far we have not observed such readiness on their part,” Putin stated. The document was released last February under the title “China Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.”
The document was vehemently rejected by NATO countries and the Ukrainian government.
In its joint statement the two sides declared their specific stances on Ukraine: “The parties note that in order to resolve the Ukrainian crisis it is necessary to respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries and prevent the formation of bloc confrontation, to stop actions that contribute to further fomentation of the conflict. The parties emphasize that responsible dialogue is the best way for sustainable resolution of the Ukrainian crisis and the international community should support constructive efforts in this regard. The sides call for the cessation of all steps contributing to the escalation of tension and prolongation of hostilities, to avoid further degradation of the crisis up to its transition to an uncontrollable phase”.
2. Depleted uranium (DU) anti-tank shells have already arrived to Ukraine
On March 21, UK Minister of State for Defense Annabel Goldie stated that London would provide Kiev with armor piercing shells for its Challenger 2 main battle tanks, including DU ammunition.
"I would like to note in this regard that if all this happens, then Russia will be forced to react accordingly – I mean that the Collective West is already starting to use weapons with a nuclear component," Vladimir Putin declared during presence of Chairman Xi Jinping on March 21 in Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu also made very critical remarks on this matter. The use of munitions with depleted uranium will dramatically reduce Ukrainian capabilities of producing high quality food, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the press conference in Moscow.
."All conversations that they see the well-being of Ukraine in the future end with their statements about their intention to supply depleted uranium shells," Russian MFA official spokesperson said, adding that the use of depleted uranium projectiles is actually an act of genocide against the population that such weapons are used on.
Russian academic community advocated to bomb railroads and highways on the Western part of Ukraine that might be used to deliver such shells with DU from the UK. Some of the experts proposed to sever diplomatic relations with London. They claim that one antitank shell fitted with DU can contaminate one hectare of land with water and vegetation.
"The UK government is sending depleted uranium shells for use in the Challenger 2 tanks gifted to Ukraine, a move CND has condemned as an additional environmental and health disaster for those living through the conflict," the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said on March 21.
In his research paper named “Uranium weapons being employed in Ukraine have significantly increased Uranium levels in the air in the UK” (March 2023) Christopher Busby, Environmental Research SIA, said that: “Uranium levels in all the onsite and offsite High Volume Air Samplers deployed by the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston, UK increased significantly in the period beginning with the start of the Ukraine War. This supports the belief that Uranium weapons are being deployed in the theatre and that the fallout of Uranium nanoparticles, has contaminated Europe and the United Kingdom.” [p.6]
Written by Vladimir P. Kozin