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Russia, China push for U.N. Security Council summit, lash out at West

BEIJING/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia and China said on Tuesday they wanted a summit of permanent members of the U.N. Security Council amid what they called heightened political turbulence, with Moscow saying they both believed the United States was acting in a destructive way.

FILE PHOTO: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Guilin, China March 22, 2021. Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

The two allies, whose relations with the West are under increasing strain, made the call for a summit in a joint statement after talks between their foreign ministers in the city of Guilin.

“At a time of increasing global political turbulence, a summit of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council is particularly necessary to establish direct dialogue about ways to resolve humankind’s common problems in the interests of maintaining global stability,” they said in a statement published on the Russian foreign ministry’s website.

Moscow has long been pushing for such a summit.

The statement did not mention the United States by name. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference after talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that Moscow and Beijing were both unhappy with U.S. behaviour.

“We noted the destructive nature of U.S. intentions, relying on the military-political alliances of the Cold War era and creating new closed alliances in the same spirit, to undermine the U.N.-centered international legal architecture,” said Lavrov.

“We emphasised that against the background of active attempts by the West to promote its concept of a ‘rules-based world order’, the joint efforts of Russia and China...to preserve the modern system of international law are becoming more and more relevant.”

Both countries’ ties with Washington are strained.

U.S. and Chinese officials on Friday concluded what Washington called “tough and direct” talks in Alaska, while Russia’s ambassador is back in Moscow for talks after U.S. President Joe Biden said he believed President Vladimir Putin was a killer.

Kicking off his two-day trip to China on Monday, Lavrov issued a call for Moscow and Beijing to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar.

Tuesday’s joint statement urged other countries to refrain from interfering in the domestic affairs of Russia and China.

Lavrov said Russia and China regarded European and Western sanctions as unacceptable.

On Monday, the United States, European Union, Britain and Canada imposed sanctions on a handful of Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Russia too is braced for a new round of U.S. sanctions over what Washington says was its meddling in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, which Moscow denies.

Lavrov also took a swipe at the European Union, accusing Brussels of destroying Russia-EU ties. He said that Moscow only had relations with individual EU nations now.

“On the Western front there are no changes, but in the East there is an intensive agenda which grows richer every year,” he said.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn, Maxim Rodionov and Alexander Marrow in Moscow and by Stella Qiu and Gabriel Crossley in Beijing; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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