Illustration photo – Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin before a meeting in Beijing, February 4, 2022.
Beijing/Moscow – Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to visit Russia, where he is expected to meet his counterpart Vladimir Putin. Reuters reported about it today, citing its sources. According to Reuters, Si could travel to Russia as early as next week. The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment, and the Kremlin declined to comment on the report, the agency wrote. According to The Wall Street Journal, Si also wants to negotiate with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky; this would be their first conversation since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.
China says it is ready to mediate talks between Moscow and Kiev, which have been at war since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The West is skeptical of Beijing's offer given the close ties between China and Russia.
China officially takes a neutral stance on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict – Beijing refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but it did not even clearly support it. US officials have recently repeatedly warned that Beijing is considering providing Moscow with military aid, including weapons and ammunition.
On January 30, Russian news agency TASS reported that Putin had invited Xia to visit in the spring. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the visit could take place in April or early May.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not want to comment on the information about Xi Jinping's possible arrival in Russia today. “As a rule, announcements about official foreign visits are made synchronously, by mutual agreement. When we are ready, we will let you know,” TASS quoted Peskov's statement as saying.
The Wall Street Journal wrote today that the Chinese president plans also negotiations with Ukrainian President Zelensky, namely via video conference. The interview would probably take place after Xi Jinping's visit to Russia.
On the anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, China presented a twelve-point plan to end the war. In it, among other things, she urged both countries to refrain from attacks on the civilian population, called for the establishment of humanitarian corridors, but also for the end of Western sanctions against Russia. At the same time, it subscribed to the principle of “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries”. In response, Zelenskyi said that Kiev should cooperate with Beijing on the peace plan, and at the same time pointed out that he does not agree with some points.