Ukraine war: For Putin, China can become a "game changer".

Ukraine war: For Putin, China can become a “game changer”.

China is extremely important for Putin: If he succeeds in joining forces with Xi Jinping, the Western sanctions will soon come to nothing.

It was an insult that could not have been more hearty. In 2014, in the midst of the first Crimean crisis, then-US President Barack Obama derided Russia as a “regional power”. The largest nuclear power on earth an insignificant regional power?

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to lead his country back to being a world power. Relations with the US have been chilly since the invasion of Ukraine, and relations with what Putin sees as European vassals of the US are almost non-existent. Russia is looking for new friends in a new world order. China is at the forefront.

It will be interesting to see how the talks about the Chinese peace plan will develop. With his weekend visit to Crimea and Mariupol, Vladimir Putin made it unmistakably clear that returning the recently annexed areas and Crimea to Ukraine is non-negotiable.

Putin in Mariupol: A warning signal to China’s head of state Xi

Above all, it is about the economy. China has not joined western sanctions. And is energy hungry. Russia, on the other hand, has an abundance of energy. For this, the country needs consumer goods that China can supply. China is already Russia’s largest trading partner.

For Vladimir Putin, Xi Jingping’s state visit is extremely important for many reasons: If both countries succeed in shooting in the shoulder, the Western sanctions would often come to nothing and hit the people of Europe harder than the Russians. Putin can then continue the “special operation” in Ukraine for a long time. He has the military resources to do so, especially when weapons and spare parts also come from China.

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