As the United States moves to exert maximal pressure on Russia over fears of a Ukraine invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin has found relief from his most powerful partner on the global stage, China.

China has expressed support for Putin’s grievances against the United States and NATO, joined Russia to try to block action on Ukraine at the United Nations Security Council and brushed aside American warnings that an invasion would create "global security and economic risks” that could consume China, too.

On Friday, Putin will meet in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping, ahead of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics that U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders have pointedly vowed to boycott.