Russia’s invasion of Ukraine expected to dominate talks as Xi to visit Moscow

mid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and hardened ties between the West and the East, Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to take up discussions the subject with China’s Xi Jinping.

India Today World Desk

New Delhi ,UPDATED: Mar 17, 2023 15:00 IST

Russian President (L) Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (AP/File)

By India Today World Desk: In an apparent show of support for Russia, Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Russia on a three-day-visit, starting Monday. Amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and hardened ties between the West and the East, Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to take up discussions on the conflict in the east European country with his Chinese counterpart. Both countries announced the meeting on Friday.

Xi Jinping’s visit comes almost three weeks since Beijing issued a 12-point proposal tabled by the Chinese foreign ministry offering to end the fight between Russia and Ukraine. However, critics said the proposal may bear no fruit as China has provided strong backing to Russian leader Vladimir Putin even during his invasion of Ukraine. In the proposal, China deemed the supply of weapons to Ukraine as “adding fuel to the fire” in the UN.

China has, since the Russia-Ukraine war broke out in 2022, projected itself as neutral in the conflict and even declared that it had “no-limits” friendship with Moscow as it refrained from condemning Russia’s military offensives in and around Kyiv.

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Recently, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that Beijing was concerned about the year-old conflict spinning out of control and urged talks on the ongoing situation with Russia.

China has “always upheld an objective and fair stance on the Ukraine issue, has committed itself to promote peace and advancing negotiations and calls on the international community to create conditions for peace talks,” news agency AP quoted Qin as saying.

Kuleba later tweeted that he and Qin “discussed the significance of the principle of territorial integrity.”

“I underscored the importance of (Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s) Peace Formula for ending aggression and restoring just peace in Ukraine,” wrote Kuleba, who spoke the same day with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The Kremlin on Friday also announced Xi’s visit, saying it will take place “at the invitation of Vladimir Putin.”

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Jinping and Putin’s talks will include “issues of further development of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China,” as well as exchange views “in the context of deepening Russian-Chinese cooperation in the international arena,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

The two leaders will also sign “important bilateral documents,” the statement read.

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