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Russia now 'dependent' on China, EU chief says

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen looks on during a press conference.

John Thys | Afp | Getty Images

An increasingly isolated Russia is now dependent on China for both its military and economic ends, the European Commission's president said Tuesday.

Ursula von der Leyen said Russia was leaning more heavily on its eastern ally as it fails to achieve its objectives.

"Russia is failing on strategic goals," von der Leyen said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "It is first and foremost a military failure," she said, noting that Ukraine had thus far retained its "freedom and independence" in its almost two-year war with Moscow.

"Russia's failure is also economic," she continued, highlighting the impact sanctions have had in isolating the country from trade with Western allies.

"Russia is now dependent on China," von der Leyen added.

Ukraine, meanwhile, is "closer than ever" to joining the European Union, she added.

Russia's trade with China has surged in the wake of Western sanctions imposed following Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

Annual bilateral trade between the two countries hit almost $200 billion last year, which President Xi Jinping hailed as a "historic high."

It comes amid growing speculation over Beijing's role in fueling Moscow's war, with new data last week suggesting that Chinese companies are critical conduits in channeling Western technologies to Russia's military.

How sanctioned Western tech is fueling Russia's military

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