Xi arrives in Moscow for talks with Putin

World Monday 20/March/2023 15:18 PM
By: DW
Xi arrives in Moscow for talks with Putin

Moscow: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow on Monday for talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

A guard of honour welcomed Xi at Moscow's Vnukovo government airport, with a red carpet rolled out in front of the aircraft.

The highly anticipated visit is Xi's first to the Russian capital since Putin launched his war against Ukraine in February last year.

In a statement, the Kremlin said the two leaders would discuss Beijing's proposals to bring the conflict to an end, with Putin expected to offer a "detailed explanation" of Moscow's view on the situation.

China has called for a cease-fire and put forward a 12-point peace plan that has been criticized by the West.

Beijing has refused to condemn the invasion and has instead sought to present itself as a neutral party and potential mediator while reaffirming its close ties to Moscow.

Xi said his trip "will be a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace."

"A reasonable way to resolve the crisis" can be found if "all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security," he wrote in a newspaper article published ahead of his departure.

The trip was expected to give Putin a political boost at a time when he is increasingly isolated internationally and has been accused by the International Criminal Court of committing war crimes in Ukraine.

On the eve of Xi's visit, Putin welcomed Beijing's willingness to play a "constructive role" in ending the Ukraine war and said Russia had high hopes for the meeting with a "good old friend."

The Kremlin said the leaders would sign an accord on "on strengthening (the two countries') comprehensive partnership and strategic relations entering a new era."

China has become an increasingly important trading partner for sanctions-hit Moscow and has stepped up its imports of Russian oil and gas since the start of the war.

Beijing has also been accused by Washington of considering sending weapons to support Russia's war, but China has denied these claims.

Xi and Putin were scheduled to have an "informal" one-on-one meeting and dinner on Monday before formal negotiations on Tuesday.