by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph:
Russia’s Vladimir Putin has committed a grave strategic blunder by tearing up the international rule book without a green light from China. Any hope of recruiting Beijing as an ally to blunt Western sanctions looks doomed, and with it the Kremlin’s chances of a painless victory, or any worthwhile victory at all.
Mr Putin was careful to thank China’s Politburo for its alleged support in his victory speech on Crimea. Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has been claiming with his usual elasticity that “Russia and China have coinciding views on the situation in Ukraine.”
This is of course a desperate lie. China did not stand behind Russia in the UN Security Council vote on Crimea, as it had over Syria. It pointedly abstained. Its foreign ministry stated that “China always sticks to the principle of non-interference in any country’s internal affairs and respects the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
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