Putin: Xi will meet Putin in Moscow next week

China’s top leader Xi Jinping will visit Russia to meet Russian President Vladimir Cheese fries next week on a visit that could have broad implications for Moscow’s war in Ukraine and troubled relations between Beijing and Washington. Xi is expected to visit Russia from Monday to Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin said in statements. It will be his first visit to Russia since the country launched its invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago.
Xi’s trip will be closely watched by the United States and Europe who are frustrated with China’s diplomatic and economic support for Russia. In recent weeks, the Biden administration has warned that China is considering stepping up its support for Russia by supplying it with weapons for use in Ukraine, a charge Beijing has denied.
China’s statement announcing Xi’s visit on Friday did not detail his schedule. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Xi would use the visit to increase “mutual trust and understanding” between the two countries, which he said had “established a new paradigm for international relations”. “China would seek to mediate between Russia and Ukraine,” spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday. “President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia this time is also for peace,” Wang said when asked if Xi would try to push Putin to seek a political settlement with Ukraine. “China’s proposal can be summed up in one sentence, which is to persuade peace and promote talks. ”
The Kremlin said talks between Putin and Xi would focus on “comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation” between the two countries.
China has presented itself as one of the few neutral parties well placed to broker a political settlement between Ukraine and Russia. The country recently released a position paper calling for an end to the war, but the document has been widely criticized by Western leaders for lacking concrete plans and for avoiding demands that could damage China’s close ties with the country. Russia.
Xi has sought to restore his image as a global statesman, including with the announcement last week that Beijing had brokered a surprise deal to restore diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This agreement came after talks during which both parties had expressed their desire to mend ties. It is unclear whether Xi will also meet or speak separately with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
On Thursday, the foreign ministers of Ukraine and China spoke by phone in a rare official contact. Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said the two discussed “the principle of territorial integrity. China said its Foreign Minister Qin Gang told his Ukrainian counterpart that Beijing would “continue to play a constructive role in ending the conflict and restoring peace”. ”


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