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Putin says ready to discuss China’s Ukraine plan at Xi talks


Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly welcomed Chinese leader Xi Jinping on a state visit to the Kremlin, sending a message to Western leaders that their attempts to isolate Moscow over the war in Ukraine have failed.

Xi’s trip – his first trip abroad since his re-election earlier this month – began on Monday and showcased Beijing’s new diplomatic swagger.

It also gave Putin a political lift just days after an international arrest warrant was issued for the Kremlin leader on charges of war crimes related to Ukraine.

The Chinese leader has tried to portray Beijing as a potential peacemaker in Ukraine, even as he deepens economic ties with Moscow.

Putin and Xi hailed each other as “best friends” when they met at the Kremlin, and Russian state news agencies later reported that they held informal talks for nearly four and a half hours on Monday, with further official talks scheduled for Tuesday.

After greeting each other, Putin told Xi in a televised commentary that he respectfully viewed China’s proposals for a solution to the war in Ukraine.

He confessed that he was “somewhat envious” of China’s “highly effective system for developing the economy and strengthening the state”.

Putin congratulated Xi on his re-election and expressed hope to build even stronger ties.

“China has made a huge leap forward in its development in recent years,” Putin said, adding that “it’s arousing genuine interest all over the world, and we’re even a little jealous,” as Xi smiled.

Xi, for his part, praised Putin and predicted that the Russians would re-elect him next year.

“Under your strong leadership, Russia has made great progress in its prosperous development,” he said.

The two powers have described Xi’s three-day trip as an opportunity to deepen their “borderless friendship”.

The Kremlin leader welcomed China’s proposals for a political settlement in Ukraine and noted that Russia is open to talks.

“We will discuss all those issues, including your initiative which we respect very much,” Putin said. “Our cooperation in the international arena undoubtedly helps to strengthen the basic principles of world order and multipolarity.”

Sergey Markov, director of the Institute of Political Studies in Moscow, told Al Jazeera that the meeting’s main agenda was to establish “infrastructure for an economic relationship,” not the war in Ukraine.

“Russia and China must build a global infrastructure, a new trade (relationship) without the influence of the sanctions imposed by the US and the EU,” he said.

“Both Xi and Putin don’t see (Ukrainian President Volodomyr) Zelenskyy as a leader of Ukraine, they believe he is a puppet of America,” Markov said, when asked about the two leaders’ thoughts on the war.

US questions sham marriage

Meanwhile, Washington criticized Xi’s visit, saying the timing showed Beijing was providing Moscow with “diplomatic cover” to commit further crimes.

China has released a 12-point proposal to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, largely dismissed in the West as a ploy to give Putin time to regroup his troops and tighten his grip on occupied land.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Xi should use his influence to pressure Putin to withdraw troops from Ukraine, and Washington was concerned that Beijing would call for a ceasefire instead -fire that would keep the Russian troops.

Kirby said Xi should talk to Zelenskyy about the war’s impact on Ukraine.

“We encourage President Xi to directly press President Putin about the need to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The world and China’s neighbors will certainly be watching closely,” he told reporters on Monday.

Xi and Putin appear to be linked in “a bit of a marriage of convenience” rather than a marriage of affection, Kirby said.

“These are two countries that have long resented US leadership around the world,” he said.

The two leaders will meet again on Tuesday for formal talks.


Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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