RUSSIALINK: “Academician Arbatov advises Russia to keep distance in relations with China” – Interfax

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MOSCOW. May 29 (Interfax) – Russia and China have common interests, but they are not strategic allies, Academician Alexei Arbatov, who heads the International Security Center of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said.

“We currently have wonderful relations, but Russia needs to keep its distance,” Arbatov said during an online session of the Primakov Readings held by Interfax and IMEMO on Friday.

Russia should play the role of an independent center of power, he said.

A military conflict took place between China and the USSR half a century ago, and the Soviet Union “officially proclaimed in its program that China was the greatest threat to the world,” Arbatov said.

“We cannot go back and forth between extremes, from China being the world’s greatest threat to it being our strategic ally or partner. One cannot play with such concepts. A strategic ally is when you are ready to send your soldiers to fight for the interests of your ally, and vice versa. I am confident that we don’t have and will not have such a situation with China,” he said.