Chinese expert believes that Russia’s influence on the global stage has increased during the pandemic

According to Sun Zhuangzhi, the costs Moscow has to bear in implementing its foreign policy strategy have also “increased”

Russia was able to increase its influence on the international stage during the new coronavirus pandemic by strengthening its relations with partner states. Sun Zhuangzhi, head of the Centre for the Study of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, expressed this view on Wednesday.

“In 2020, the Russian Federation and Eastern European countries felt the great negative impact of the pandemic,” he said at a symposium on international affairs held in the Chinese capital. – Overall, however, Russia has been able to maintain stability. And despite the pressure on the Russian economy, the Russian Federation has managed to make remarkable progress on the diplomatic front, <…> maintaining stable relations with partner states and increasing its influence [in the international arena]”.

At the same time, the expert said, “the costs” that Moscow has to bear in implementing its foreign policy strategy have increased. Sun Zhuangzhi noted that the situation in Russia’s interaction “with Europe and the US <…> remains the same.”

In his view, the US-Russia relationship is still very strained, and “there has not been any positive change” in Russia’s engagement with the EU. At the same time, he stressed that Moscow simultaneously continues to strengthen relations with Beijing, providing it with valuable support and “speaking out against US slander against China.”

“Thus, Sino-Russian relations have withstood the test of the pandemic and are showing a positive trend in their development”, –  Sun Zhuangzhi concluded.

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