Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday there is no need for a Russia-China military alliance now, but noted it could be forged in the future.
Putin’s statement signaled deepening ties between Moscow and Beijing amid growing tensions in their relations with the United States. The Russian leader also made a strong call for extending the last remaining arms control pact between Moscow and Washington.
Asked during a video conference with international foreign policy experts Thursday whether a military union between Moscow and Beijing was possible, Putin replied that “we don’t need it, but, theoretically, it’s quite possible to imagine it.”
Russia and China have hailed their “strategic partnership,” but so far rejected any talk about the possibility of their forming a military alliance.
Putin pointed to the war games that the armed forces of China and Russia held as a signal of the countries’ burgeoning military cooperation.
Putin also noted that Russia has shared sensitive military technologies that helped significantly boost China’s military potential, but didn’t mention any specifics, saying the information was sensitive.
“Without any doubt, our cooperation with China is bolstering the defense capability of China’s army,” he said, adding that the future could see even closer military ties between the two countries.
“The time will show how it will develop,” the Russian president said, adding that “we won’t exclude it.”