Russia-China Military Alliance ‘Quite Possible,’ Putin Says

President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that a future military alliance with China can’t be ruled out but is not needed right now, the Associated Press reported.

Speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club, Putin said that Russia has stepped up military cooperation with China through joint military exercises and the sharing of sensitive Russian military technologies.

“Without any doubt, our cooperation with China is bolstering the defense capability of China’s army,” Putin said via videoconference with international foreign policy experts.

Moscow’s military ties with Beijing could someday deepen further, he added, noting: “The time will show how it will develop… we won’t exclude it.”

Asked about a hypothetical Russian-Chinese military alliance, Putin said: “We don’t need it, but, theoretically, it’s quite possible to imagine it.”

To date, Russia and China have rejected an outright military alliance in favor of a strategic partnership. Russia “pivoted” toward China after its annexation of Crimea in 2014 triggered Western sanctions and sunk relations to post-Cold War lows.

China and Germany are headed for political and economic superpower status while the role of the United States, as well as Britain and France, has waned, Putin said.

Putin’s comments on sharing sensitive technology with China come amid a wave of criminal prosecutions against Russian scientists accused of passing state secrets to China in recent years.

Russia, Rwanda Send ‘Several Hundred’ Troops to C.Africa

The Central African Republic said Monday that Russia and Rwanda had sent in hundreds of troops after an alleged coup bid ahead of weekend presidential and parliamentary polls.

The government in the deeply unstable country on Saturday accused former president Francois Bozize of an attempted putsch after three powerful rebel groups merged and started to advance on the capital Bangui.

“Russia has sent several hundred soldiers and heavy weapons” in the framework of a bilateral cooperation agreement, government spokesman Ange Maxime Kazagui said.

“The Rwandans have also sent several hundred men who are on the ground and have started fighting.”

Rwanda confirmed the deployment, saying the move was in response to the targeting of its troops in the UN peacekeeping force by rebels supported by Bozize, who ruled the Central African Republic from 2003 to 2013.

There was no immediate confirmation from Moscow although the Kremlin voiced “serious concern” about events in CAR.

Private security guards employed by Russian companies already provide protection for President Faustin-Archange Touadera and are involved in training of local armed forces.

A spokesman for the UN force said on Sunday that the rebel forces advancing on the capital had been pushed back and that the situation was “under control.”

The opposition has called for the Dec. 27 votes to be canceled until “peace and security” is restored.

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