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Russia-Ukraine latest news: Moscow to focus on further developing ties with China

Moscow will focus on developing relations with China and would consider offers from the West to re-establish ties depending if they are needed, Russia’s foreign minister has said.

Sergei Lavrov, in a question and answer session at an event in Moscow on Monday, said Western countries had espoused “russophobia” since Russia began its invasion on Ukraine.

Mr Lavrov said the country was working to replace goods imported from Western countries and in future would rely only on “reliable” countries not beholden to the West.

“If they (the West) want to offer something in terms of resuming relations, then we will seriously consider whether we will need it or not,” Mr Lavrov said, according to a transcript on the foreign ministry’s website.

“We must cease being dependent in any way on supplies of absolutely everything from the West for ensuring the development of critically important sectors for security, the economy or our homeland’s social sphere.”

Mr Lavrov said Moscow’s goal was to work on further building its ties with China.

“Now that the West has taken a ‘dictator’s position’, our economic ties with China will grow even faster,” he said.

“In addition to direct revenue for the state budget, this is a chance to develop (Russia’s) far east and eastern Siberia.”

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