Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Friday to announce their unification against the United States on the issue of Ukraine. The White House issued a statement through press secretary Jen Psaki dismissing the meeting:
“What we have control over is our own relationships and the protection of our own values and also looking for ways to work with countries even where we disagree,” she told reporters on Friday.
Russia-China declare strategic friendship
Putin has made several demands from NATO in response to his escalation with Ukraine. The Russian leader has asked for NATO to stop its expansion and refuse Ukraine membership. Jinping backed Putin in their meeting, while Russia stood by Jinping’s position on Taiwan being part of China.
Both countries released a joint statement declaring a strategic “friendship” which “has no limits” as well as no “forbidden areas of cooperation.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that the U.S. “strongly prefers that Russia choose the path of diplomacy and dialogue, but if it does not, we are fully prepared for the alternative.” Russia’s demands from NATO are largely seen as unreasonable by analysts and politicians.
Pentagon says Russia may fabricate a reason to invade Ukraine
The Pentagon announced on Thursday that Russia may be fabricating videos of Ukraine attacking Russia in order to justify an invasion.
“We do have information that the Russians are likely to fabricate a pretext for an invasion,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told the press on Thursday. “One option is the Russian government, we think, is planning to stage a fake attack by Ukrainian military or intelligence forces against Russian sovereign territory, or against Russian speaking people, to therefore justify their action.”
Kirby then said that a report published by The Washington Post claiming that Russia was planning to fabricate an attack by Ukraine was true.
“We believe that Russia would produce a very graphic propaganda video, which would include corpses and actors that would be depicting mourners and images of destroyed locations, as well as military equipment at the hand of Ukraine or the West, even to the point where some of this equipment would be made to look like it was Western supplied to Ukraine equipment,” Kirby said.
State officials insist that making this information public is a viable strategy towards dissuading Russia from following through on its plans. State Department spokesperson Ned Price explained why the US believes this will be effective:
“We are making it available to you for a couple of reasons. One is to attempt to deter the Russians from going ahead with this activity. Two, in the event we’re not able to do that, in the event the Russians do go ahead with this, to make it clear as day, to lay bare the fact that this has always been an attempt on the part of the Russian Federation to fabricate a pretext,” Price said.