Expert: Putin Is in Trouble and Desperately Seeking Support from China

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.16 - 2024 2:23 PM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The expert is clear: the current geopolitical tension has reached a breaking point.

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Amid heightened international pressure and a new front opening north of Kharkiv, Putin is now turning to China for support as Russia faces critical challenges.

On Tuesday morning, a rare interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin was broadcast.

During the interview with a Chinese media outlet, Putin expressed a desire for dialogue on the war in Ukraine, insisting that Russia’s perspective must be considered.

However, Flemming Splidsboel Hansen, a senior researcher at DIIS, advises not to place too much importance on Putin's comments, viewing them more as a necessity rather than an indication of strategic change.

"Putin has to play along. We shouldn't see it as a new realization but as him needing to align with Chinese interests. We hear daily that the Russians are ready to negotiate, but this isn’t anything new," he told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

For Putin, solidifying this relationship is crucial: "Russia needs China, and right now, they need them almost urgently," says Splidsboel Hansen.

While the relationship benefits China, there is a notable power imbalance.

"China values this relationship but does not let it constrain their actions. It is an unequal power relationship," Splidsboel Hansen points out.

He also mentions China's concern about being isolated in the event of major political upheaval in Russia, which could push Russia toward closer cooperation with the West. This fear is a significant factor driving their cooperation.

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