Russia seeks closer security ties with China as key goal

MOSCOW (AP) — A top Russian security official says the Kremlin considers beefing up ties with Beijing as a top policy goal. Nikolai Patrushev is secretary of the national Security Council chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin. During a meeting in China on Monday with a top Communist Party official, Patrushev said “in the current conditions, our countries must show even greater readiness for mutual support and development of cooperation.” Putin met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week in Uzbekistan, their first encounter since the Russian leader sent troops into Ukraine in late February. A Chinese government statement issued after Patrushev’s meeting didn’t mention Ukraine but said Xi promised “strong support” for Russia’s “core interests.”