Moscow has repeatedly declared that the US and its allies are using Ukraine to wage war against it. That narrative is rejected by Kyiv and the West, which say Ukraine is fighting for survival against a Russian imperial land grab.
Referring to a Chinese ceasefire initiative announced last month, Peskov said Moscow was in constant contact with Beijing.
“A big, giant, powerful and authoritative country like China can’t fail to have its own voice on those problems that stand high on the world agenda,” Peskov said. “We pay great attention to all the ideas we hear from our colleagues in Beijing.”
The deferential tone reflected Moscow’s growing reliance on China at a time when the West is trying to isolate Moscow and pounding its economy with sanctions. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping signed a “no limits” partnership less than three weeks before Putin sent his army into Ukraine last February.
China has refused to name Russia as the aggressor, while often criticising the US for bullying other countries with sanctions. At the same time, it has expressed deep concern that the conflict may escalate or “spiral out of control”.
In comments likely to hearten Moscow, China’s Qin said Beijing must advance its relations with Russia as the world becomes more turbulent.
Trade data published on Tuesday provided further evidence of the growing commercial ties between the two neighbours.
China’s exports to Russia jumped 19.8 per cent in the first two months of 2023 compared to the same period last year, while imports soared by 31.3 per cent, resulting in a Chinese trade deficit with Russia of US$3.6 billion with Russia in January and February.
China’s trade with Russia hit a record high in 2022 as Moscow was cut off from Western markets and Beijing snapped up the opportunity to buy Russian oil at a discount.