Russian authorities on Monday criticized remarks made by French President Emmanuel Macron that Moscow was becoming subordinate to China and said Western nations should get accustomed to a reality in which Moscow and Beijing had strong relations.
The Kremlin's isolation as a result of its invasion of Ukraine more than 14 months ago was the focus of the Russian critique of Macron's interview with the Paris newspaper l'Opinion.
Macron was reported in the newspaper as stating that “(Russia) has de facto started a form of vasallization with China and has lost access to the Baltic that was critical to it as it has precipitated the decision by Sweden and Finland to join Nato.”
“Two years ago, this was unimaginable.”
The controversy seems to center on conversations between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin in March in Moscow, when they said they were forging “a new era” of relations and extending their strategic alliance.
The relationship between Russia and China, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, is that of a strategic partner and has nothing to do with dependency.
Alexander Grushko, the deputy foreign minister of Russia, said that Moscow's improved ties with China and the resulting changes to the global order had caused Paris to become concerned.
In a statement posted on the ministry website, Grushko said that “the West generally appears afraid of the formation of a truly multilateral system of international relations before our eyes, one that includes several separate independent centers, particularly Russia and China.”
“In this changing global environment, it is inevitable that E. Macron and other Western leaders will have to accept the existence of close, equitable, and respectful ties between Moscow and Beijing.”