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China’s Xi Jinping slams West for sanctioning Russia in BRICS speech

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) pose for a picture during their meeting in Beijing on February 4. On Wednesday, Xi slammed Western countries for sanctioning Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. File Photo by Alexei Druzhinin/EPA-EFE

June 22 (UPI) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday lashed out at the United States and European Union for leveling sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, saying that doing so “will only end up hurting one’s own interests.”

He made the remarks during the opening of the virtual BRICS business forum, a meeting of the governments of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The business meeting takes place ahead of the primary summit of BRICS nations hosted in Beijing this year.

Also expected to participate in this year’s summit are Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Press Trust of India reported.

“To politicize the global economy and turn it into one’s tool or weapon, and willfully impose sanctions by using one’s primary position in the international financial and monetary systems will only end up hurting one’s own interests, as well as those of others, and inflict suffering on everyone,” Xi said, according to Anadolu Agency.

He said such confrontations don’t bring peace or stability, but instead create conflict and more war.

“The Ukraine crisis is another wake-up call for all in the world. It reminds us that blind faith in the so-called ‘position of strength’ and attempts to expand military alliances and seek one’s own security at the expense of others will only land oneself in a security dilemma.”

China has refused to join the EU and other countries across the globe imposing sanctions on Russia for its war in Ukraine, which began Feb. 24. During a phone call last week, Xi told Putin that Beijing backs Russia’s “sovereignty and security” interests.

Beijing has avoided publicly taking sides on the Ukraine crisis and has refused to call Russia’s actions an invasion, instead appealing for diplomatic efforts and a peaceful settlement.

China has echoed Russia’s concerns about NATO expansion, however, and has blamed the United States for heightening tensions and fanning the flames of conflict. The United States and China have been navigating souring relations for years.

Thomas Maresca contributed to this report.

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