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Ukraine war

Russia becomes China's discount 'gas station': Ukrainian experts

Western sanctions give Moscow no alternatives for critical tech imports

An employee refuels a vehicle at a gas station on June 28, 2022 in Nanjing, China. China, a key buyer of Russian oil, is expected to demand heavy discounts for the commodity.   © Getty Images

KUALA LUMPUR -- With every inch of territory that Ukraine's counteroffensive takes back from Russian forces, Moscow cedes more of its influence to China.

Ukrainian analysts who spoke with Nikkei Asia said China has become crucial for the survival of Putin's Russia as crippling Western sanctions leave Moscow with no alternative than to fall deeper into Beijing's embrace. China, a key buyer of Russian oil, is expected to demand heavy discounts for the commodity.

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