China’s Xi Jinping to visit Russia next week, Kremlin says | News

The visit comes as China offers to broker peace in Ukraine, an effort that has been met with skepticism in the West.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in Russia next week for a state visit after being invited by President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Friday.

The two-day trip starting Monday comes as Beijing offers to broker peace in Ukraine, an effort that has been met with skepticism in the West given China’s diplomatic support for Russia.

“During the talks, they will discuss current issues of the further development of comprehensive partnership relations and strategic cooperation between Russia and China,” the Kremlin said.

“A number of important bilateral documents will be signed,” it added.

China and Russia forged a borderless partnership in February 2022, when Putin visited Beijing for the opening of the Winter Olympics, weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine.

The two sides have since reaffirmed the strength of their ties. Trade between the two countries has soared since the invasion and China is Russia’s largest buyer of oil, a major source of income for Moscow.

But in recent weeks, China has been trying to mediate between Russia and Ukraine.

On February 24, exactly one year after Russia invaded Ukraine, China released a twelve-point document on the war, calling for a ceasefire and talks between the two sides.

Earlier this week, Beijing also offered to mediate between Russia and Ukraine over the Black Sea grain deal, which will be extended.

And on Thursday, in a rare phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, China’s foreign minister said Beijing is concerned about the year-old conflict that has spiraled out of control, and urged talks about a political solution with Moscow.

Qin Gang told Dmytro Kuleba that China has “always taken an objective and fair position on the Ukraine issue, is committed to promoting peace and advancing negotiations, and calls on the international community to create conditions for peace talks,” the Chinese government said. State Department in a statement posted on its website.

Kuleba later tweeted that he and Qin “discussed the meaning of the principle of territorial integrity.”

“I underlined the importance of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s] Peace formula for ending aggression and restoring a just peace in Ukraine,” Kuleba wrote, speaking the same day with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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