Trade between Russia and China has surged as Moscow finds itself cut off from Western imports following its invasion of Ukraine.
In 2022, January-March trade turnover reached $38.17 billion, a 28.7% increase compared with the same time last year, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing Chinese customs data.
Russian imports from China rose 25.9% to $16.44 billion, while its exports to China jumped 31% to $21.73 billion in the first quarter of the year.
In March alone, the first full month since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Russia exported $7.84 billion worth of goods to the Chinese market.
Energy, mineral and agricultural products make up the bulk of Chinese imports from Russia.
China’s trade with war-torn Ukraine also climbed by 10.6% to $4.6 billion, customs spokesman Li Kuiwen said at a press conference Wednesday.
Ukraine exports commodities such as iron ore and corn to China.
China has been Russia’s largest trading partner for more than a decade, and became its biggest export destination after Western governments imposed sanctions on Moscow following its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Beijing has called on the West to lift the unprecedented sanctions it levied against Russia over its 2022 military campaign in Ukraine.
Days ahead of the invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping announced a “no-limits” partnership with plans to grow bilateral trade to $250 billion by 2024.