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Putin Welcomes Xi amid Fighting in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 20, 2023. (Russian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)
Putin Welcomes Xi amid Fighting in Ukraine
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Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Moscow on Monday.

Russia and China have described Xi’s three-day visit as a chance to deepen the “no-limits friendship” between the nations.

Putin congratulated Xi on his election to a third term as China’s president and expressed hope for building even stronger ties. He welcomed China’s proposals for a political settlement in Ukraine and said Russia is open for talks.

“We will discuss all those issues, including your initiative that we highly respect,” he said.

Xi thanked Putin for his comments and noted that Russia is the first foreign country he has visited since his re-election.

Xi is also the first world leader to meet Putin since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an order for the arrest of the Russian president on war crimes charges. He is accused of illegally seizing and deporting children from Ukraine to Russia since invading Ukraine a year ago.

Russia dismissed the arrest order. It does not recognize the ICC.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that discussions over dinner between Putin and Xi will likely include a “detailed explanation” of Russian actions in Ukraine. Officials from China and Russia are to discuss broader issues in meetings Tuesday, the spokesman added.

China's President Xi Jinping walks past honor guards during a welcoming ceremony at Moscow's Vnukovo airport on March 20, 2023. (Photo by Anatoliy Zhdanov / Kommersant Photo / AFP)
China's President Xi Jinping walks past honor guards during a welcoming ceremony at Moscow's Vnukovo airport on March 20, 2023. (Photo by Anatoliy Zhdanov / Kommersant Photo / AFP)

Ukraine issue

Putin wrote a piece published in the Chinese People’s Daily newspaper that described Xi’s visit as a “landmark event.” He said the trip shows “the special nature of the Russia-China partnership.” Putin also said the meeting sent a message to the United States that the two countries will not accept attempts to weaken them.

And, Putin wrote that American foreign policy is “getting ever fiercer and more aggressive” toward countries that do not act as the U.S. wants.

China has reported the visit as a part of normal diplomatic exchanges. At a daily briefing in Beijing on Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Xi’s visit is one of “friendship, cooperation and peace.”

“China will uphold its objective and fair position on the Ukrainian crisis and play a constructive role in promoting peace talks,” the official said.

Despite their “no-limits” partnership, China has not supplied Russia with weapons or ammunition. Such a move could worsen relations with the U.S. and turn important European trade partners against China.

China has refused to condemn Russian aggression and accused the U.S. and its NATO allies of inciting Russia’s military action.

China last month called for a cease-fire and peace talks between Ukraine and Russia. But Ukraine said China should press Russia to stop its invasion.

"We expect Beijing to use its influence on Moscow to make it put an end to the aggressive war against Ukraine," Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, posted on Twitter Monday.

“The first and main point,” he wrote, is the “withdrawal of the Russian occupation troops from the territory of Ukraine in accordance with the norms of international law and the UN Charter.”

The U.S. also rejected China’s call for a cease-fire in Ukraine. It argues such action would only permit Russia to expand its battlefield gains.

I'm Caty Weaver.

Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on reports from The Associated Press and Reuters.


Words in This Story

initiative - n. a plan or program that is intended to solve a problem

landmark - n. an important event or achievement

constructive - adj. helping to develop or improve something

promote - v. to help something develop or happen

accordance - n. in a way that agrees with