In the face of crippling sanctions from the West, Russia’s cooperation with China will only “get stronger”, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday.

During a media event, he said, “At a time when the west is blatantly undermining all the foundations on which the international system is based, we — as two great powers — need to think how to carry on in this world,” reported CNN.

A similar view was echoed at an event in Beijing on Saturday when Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said Western sanctions against Russia were getting “more and more outrageous.”

Although China has expressed concern about the war in Ukraine, it has avoided condemning the Russian invasion. Chinese President Xi Jinping told US President Joe Biden during a video call Friday, “the Ukraine crisis is something we don’t want to see.” He urged the parties in Ukraine to demonstrate “political will and keep the dialogue and negotiation going.”

Western countries have strongly condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine and imposed harsh sanctions on Moscow.

Lavrov meanwhile said that Russia hopes its military operation in Ukraine will end with a “comprehensive agreement” on security issues and Ukraine agreeing to a neutral status. He said Moscow is “ready” to look for guarantees of security and “to coordinate them for Ukraine, for the Europeans and, of course, for ourselves beyond the expansion of the North-Atlantic Treaty.”

China says it promotes peace talks between Russia and Ukraine

Earlier on Friday, China underlined at the UN Security Council meeting that direct talks between Russia and Ukraine are the most effective method to resolve the conflict. Beijing said that it will continue to promote peace discussions and hopes that all sides will do more to promote peace talks.

On several occasions, China has backed Russia’s claim that Ukraine was running chemical and biological weapons labs with US assistance. Notably, Beijing fueled Moscow’s claims that the US is funding research into the development of biological weapons in Ukraine and called for an investigation. The United States retaliated by accusing China of spreading a conspiracy theory and escalating a dispute over public perceptions of the Russia-Ukraine war.

(With agency inputs)