Putin meets Xi in Kremlin as Ukraine war grinds on

By Reuters   March 20, 2023 | 06:07 pm PT
Putin meets Xi in Kremlin as Ukraine war grinds on
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 20, 2023. Photo by Sputnik via Reuters
Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping planned more talks on Tuesday after a Kremlin dinner.

It was Xi's first trip abroad since he obtained an unprecedented third term last month. The Chinese leader has been trying to portray Beijing as a potential peacemaker in Ukraine, even as he deepens economic ties with his closest ally.

Putin and Xi greeted one another as "dear friend" when they met in the Kremlin on Monday, and Russian state news agencies later reported they held informal talks for nearly 4-1/2 hours, with more official talks scheduled for Tuesday.

In televised comments, Putin told Xi he viewed China's proposals for resolution of the Ukraine conflict with respect. He confessed to being "slightly envious" of China's "very effective system for developing the economy and strengthening the state".

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

Moscow has been publicly promoting plans for a visit by Xi for months.

White House spokesman John Kirby said Xi should use his influence to press Putin to withdraw troops from Ukraine.

Kyiv, which says the war cannot end until Russia pulls out its troops, cautiously welcomed Beijing's peace proposal when it was unveiled last month.

go to top