ISW: China does not support Russia’s war in Ukraine and is not providing Russia weapons
Putin also attempted to portray Russia as a respected world power against the backdrop of Chinese officials downplaying close relations with Russia.
Putin held a televised meeting presenting ambassador credentials to the heads of 17 diplomatic missions on April 5, during which he highlighted Russia’s close relationship with Syria and cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), likely as part of ongoing Russian efforts to appeal to non-Western states.
Putin stated that Syria is a reliable partner with whom Russia reached several unspecified agreements during Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's recent trip to Russia on March 14. Putin berated ambassadors from the United States and European Union (EU) states and claimed that the West is responsible for the war in Ukraine and geopolitical confrontation with Russia.
Chinese Ambassador to the EU Fu Cong stated on April 5 that the Russian–Chinese joint statement declaring there were “no limits” to their ties released in February 2022 was misrepresented, calling “no limits” a “purely rhetorical statement.”
Fu added that China does not support Russia’s war in Ukraine and is not providing Russia weapons. Fu’s statement is consistent with ISW’s March 21 assessment that Putin has not been able to secure the benefits from the no-limits bilateral partnership with China which he likely hoped for when meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow between March 20 and March 22.