RUSSIA has warned the United States it will be dragged into a war by arming Ukraine with better long-range missiles.
It came as Vladimir Putin met fellow tyrants Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, and Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi at a “dictators’ club” summit today.
Vladimir Putin addressing Xi Jinping at the meeting todayCredit: AP
Xi told Putin China would work with Russia as ‘great powers’Credit: Reuters
Putin, far left, and Xi, far right, sat on opposite sides of an enormous conference tableCredit: EPA
Putin and Xi met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Uzbekistan – their first face-to-face meeting since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
As the pair came face-to-face, Russia warned the US against any further deliveries of missiles to help Ukraine.
“The United States and its allies, who supply weapons to the Kyiv regime, are actually becoming accomplices in its war crimes,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
“If Washington decides to supply Kyiv with longer-range missiles, it will cross the red line and become a direct party to the conflict.
“We reserve the right to defend our territory with all available to us.”
In televised opening remarks at the bilateral meeting, Putin told Xi: “We highly value the balanced position of our Chinese friends when it comes to the Ukraine crisis.”
In return, Xi told Putin that China was willing to work with Moscow as “great powers”.
Xi went to the summit after visiting Kazakhstan, his first trip overseas since the Covid pandemic.
Putin is holding out a begging bowl to China, hoping it will buy more oil and gas to help fund his war in Ukraine.
China’s oil, gas, coal and electricity purchases from Russia amount to £37billion so far this year.
Russia also wants Beijing to sell it microchips that its military desperately needs for hi-tech weapons.
Soldiers are increasingly relying on ancient stocks of primitive Soviet-era munitions while Ukrainian forces are turning the tide with pinpoint strikes using Western armaments.
Earlier this month, China poured thousands of troops into Russia for military drills involving 60 warships and 140 planes as the countries boost defence ties.
And following the Beijing Summit in February, the two countries declared a “friendship without limits” with “no forbidden areas” of cooperation.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – dubbed the “dictators’ club” – formed in 1996 and includes some of the world’s most ruthless regimes.
Newest member Iran was welcomed into the club at today’s summit.
Putin held a one-on-one meeting with President Ebrahim Raisi, who has a bloody history steeped in murder and executions, activists claim.
Raisi – often referred to as The Butcher – is reported to have been a key member of the so-called “Death Commission”, which ordered thousands to be killed in the massacre of 1988.
Putin was also pictured shaking hands with Turkmenistan’s new ruler Serdar Berdymukhamedov.
He took over from his madcap dictator dad Gurbanguly, who is famous for erecting a giant gold statue of a dog in his impoverished nation’s capital.
Other members include India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan’s late tyrant Islam Karimov – who died in 2016 – was notorious for boiling his enemies alive.
Putin shaking hands with Iran’s president Ebrahim ‘The Butcher’ RaisiCredit: EPA
Putin also met Turkmenistan’s new ruler Serdar BerdymukhamedovCredit: AP
Xi and Putin today with Mongolia’s president Ukhnaa KhurelsukhCredit: AFP
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