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West criticizes Putin’s re-election; China, India strengthen ties

Western governments united on Monday to denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin’s landslide reelection as unjust and undemocratic. Conversely, China, India, and North Korea extended congratulations to the long-standing leader for his extended six-year rule. These divergent responses underline the deepening fault lines in geopolitics since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years prior, precipitating the most profound crisis in Western relations since the Cold War’s conclusion.

As EU foreign ministers convened in Brussels, they collectively dismissed the election outcome as a farce, paving the way for sanctions against individuals implicated in the mistreatment and demise of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock characterized Russia’s electoral process as devoid of genuine choice, echoed by French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne, who wryly dubbed it a “special election operation” akin to Moscow’s framing of its Ukrainian intervention.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron lamented the depth of repression evident in Russia, highlighting Putin’s suppression of political adversaries and control over the media, which culminates in self-proclamation as the victor. Furthermore, France, Britain, and others decried Russia’s conduct of holding elections in occupied Ukrainian territories, purportedly annexed during the conflict.

The Kremlin dismissed Western criticism, pointing to Putin’s overwhelming 87% victory as evidence of popular support. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy dismissed the legitimacy of Russia’s election, accusing Putin of an insatiable lust for power.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden refrained from direct commentary, but a White House spokesperson labeled Russia’s election as evidently lacking in freedom and fairness.

OUTSIDE WEST, PUTIN CONGRATULATED


In stark contrast, Chinese President Xi Jinping extended his congratulations to Putin, affirming Beijing’s commitment to maintaining close communication with Moscow to advance the “no limits” partnership they established in 2022, just before Russia invaded Ukraine. “I believe that under your leadership, Russia will certainly be able to achieve greater achievements in national development and construction,” Xi conveyed to Putin in his message, as reported by Xinhua News.

Also Read: EU to Impose Tariffs on Russian Grain Imports, FT Says

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also offered his congratulations on Putin’s “decisive” victory, with the Kremlin noting their mutual readiness to continue “effective coordination” within the OPEC+ oil producers group during a telephone call.

Echoing similar sentiments, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anticipation for strengthening New Delhi’s “time-tested special and privileged strategic partnership” with Moscow. Notably, India and China, alongside Russia, constitute members of the BRICS group of emerging economies aimed at challenging U.S. economic dominance.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, despite facing Western accusations of supplying weapons to Russia, likewise extended congratulations to Putin, emphasizing their shared desire for further bilateral expansion with Moscow.

In Africa, where Western efforts to isolate Moscow over the Ukraine conflict have encountered resistance, some newspapers viewed Putin’s reelection as bolstering the stances of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. These Sahel region states have deepened ties with Russia following recent coups, at the expense of traditional French and U.S. alliances. Burkina Faso’s daily publication Aujourd’hui au Faso remarked, “In Africa, this reelection might appear inconsequential, but within the Sahel’s context, it holds significant meaning. Putin embodies the emerging geopolitical power balance on the continent, with a growing Russian presence and influence.”

John Collins
John Collins
John is an esteemed journalist and author renowned for their incisive reporting and deep insights into global affairs. As a prominent contributor to City Telegraph, John brings over 5 years of experience covering diverse geopolitical landscapes, from the corridors of power in major capitals to the frontlines of conflict zones.

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