The Kremlin placed Taiwan on its list of “unfriendly” countries despite Russia’s close ties to China, which does not recognize Taiwanese independence from the mainland.
Nearly two weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin published a list of foreign countries it claims are “unfriendly” in response to the significant sanctions that they have imposed on Russian leaders and financial institutions.
The countries and territories considered “unfriendly” by the Russian government include Australia, Albania, Andorra, the United Kingdom, including Jersey, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and Gibraltar, the member states of the European Union, Iceland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Micronesia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea, San Marino, North Macedonia, Singapore, the United States, Taiwan, Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland, and Japan, according to a decree published on the government’s website, Russian state media TASS said.
All corporate deals with the companies that make up the list will now need government approval, and the resolution that enacted the requirement was the impetus behind the creation of the “unfriendly countries” list.
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The inclusion of Taiwan is notable given that China and Russia released a communique that outlined a wide range of plans for economic and diplomatic cooperation last month. China maintains the stance that the island is a part of it, even though it has its own government, and the Taiwanese consider themselves independent.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby accused the Chinese government of giving “tacit approval” to the Russians amid their invasion last week, which has already displaced 1.7 million people, killed 406 civilians, and injured another 801, according to updated statistics from the United Nations released on Monday.
“We’ve seen, basically, through statements some at least tacit approval by the Chinese for what Russia was doing,” Kirby said Wednesday. “Now, in the last few days, some of their Foreign Ministry spokespeople have appeared to walk some of this back a little bit by talking about Ukrainian sovereignty, which is welcome to see. But we haven’t seen China join the list of countries that have enacted sanctions on Russia. We haven’t seen the Chinese blame Mr. Putin for the violence he is causing.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin pushed back on Kirby’s remarks in the ensuing days, arguing that the U.S. was to blame for the situation that led to the invasion.
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“The U.S. has been spreading disinformation time and again and smearing China with the Ukraine issue,” Wang claimed. “Fabricating rumors to shirk one’s own responsibility is very hypocritical and despicable. Spreading disinformation cannot help the U.S. shift its responsibility.”
European Union High Representative Josep Borrell said over the weekend that China “must” be the mediator between Russia and Ukraine.

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