Xi Jinping will meet Vladimir Putin in Russia next week | War in Ukraine

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Xi Jinping will meet Vladimir Putin in Russia next week | War in Ukraine

Russian and Chinese Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping at a previous meeting. (File photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will receive his Chinese counterpart for a one-on-one lunch on Monday before more formal talks the next day, the Kremlin said on Friday.

Monday, this will be a one-on-one conversation, there will be an informal lunch. And from [Tuesday] March 21, there will be a day of negotiations, said Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, when asked about the program for the meeting between Mr. Putin and Mr. Xi, who will be in Russia from March 20-22.

This is the Chinese president's first official visit to Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.

Beijing, which has strengthened ties with Moscow in recent years in common opposition to the West, presents itself as a neutral party in the conflict in Ukraine.

At the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation , Vladimir Putin, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Russia from March 20 to 22, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

It will be a trip for friendship and peace, the ministry added.

Xi Jinping will have an in-depth exchange of views with the president Putin on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of common interest, said a spokesman for Chinese diplomacy, Wang Wenbin.

“Changes not seen in a century are happening right now, and the world has entered a new period of turbulence. »

— Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for Chinese diplomacy

The Kremlin confirmed this visit immediately.

The two leaders will discuss deepening comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between Russia and China, especially in the international arena, the Russian Presidency said in a statement, adding that important bilateral documents will be signed. /p>

Beijing-Moscow relations were tumultuous during the Cold War, but the two neighbors have grown significantly closer in recent decades to stand together in the face of US influence.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin had met in September on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan.< /p>

During this first meeting since the start of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, they showed their desire to support each other and strengthen their ties in the midst of a crisis with Westerners.

The Russian President had visited Beijing a few months earlier for the Winter Olympics. The two leaders then proclaimed their boundless friendship. A few days later, Vladimir Putin launched his troops against Ukraine.

The announcement of Xi Jinping's trip to Russia comes the day after a telephone conversation between Chinese and Ukrainian foreign ministers.

China fears that the crisis does not worsen and get out of control, Chinese Minister Qin Gang told his interlocutor, according to a statement issued by his ministry.

She hopes all parties will keep calm, exercise restraint, resume peace talks as soon as possible and return to the path of political settlement.

China released a 12-point document last month urging Moscow and Kyiv to hold peace talks.

The text also opposes any use of arms nuclear power and calls for respecting the territorial integrity of all countries – also implying that of Ukraine, part of whose territory is under Russian control.

This document had been greeted with caution by Westerners, because China has never publicly condemned Russia.

Whether [China] really steps up its efforts to play a peacemaking role […] will depend on the content of what it comes up with in meetings with Russian and Ukrainian leaders, the report tells ;Agence France-Presse (AFP) Ja-Ian Chong, an expert on Chinese foreign policy at the National University of Singapore.

Since the beginning of the conflict, the Chinese president has never spoken to his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

But according to the American daily The Wall Street Journal, a conversation could take place after Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow.

Last month, the Ukrainian president expressed his wish to exchange with his Chinese counterpart.

I intend to meet Xi Jinping. This will be important for global security. China respects territorial integrity and must do everything to get Russia out of Ukraine's territory, Zelensky said.

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