Chinese President Xi Jinping met Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday, March 20 as both leaders work to deepen economic and military ties between each other.
It’s Xi’ first visit to Moscow since the invasion of Ukraine a year ago and Xi was also the first leader to meet the Russian president since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him on Friday last week over the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia during its year-old invasion of Ukraine.
Moscow said the arrest warrant was one of several “clearly hostile displays” and they have now opened a criminal case against the ICC prosecutor and judges.
Beijing, meanwhile said the warrant reflected double standards.
The two leaders greeted one another as “dear friend” when they met in the Kremlin on Monday afternoon before a dinner, to be followed by formal talks on Tuesday.
Putin told Xi he viewed China’s proposals for a resolution of the Ukraine conflict with respect and was also “slightly envious” of China’s rapid development the last decade..
“China has created a very effective system for developing the economy and strengthening the state. It is much more effective than in many other countries,” he said.
Xi’s visit comes after China released a broad 12-point proposal to solve the Ukraine crisis, while strengthening relations with Moscow.
During the visit, 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,” Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said.
Xi said China’s Ukraine peace proposal, an unspecific document released last month, reflects global views.
Putin signed a “no limits” partnership with Xi last year shortly before he sent hundreds of thousands of troops into Ukraine to end what he said was a threat to Russia from its neighbour’s moves towards the West. The year-long war has killed tens of thousands of people, destroyed cities and forced millions to flee.
On Monday, thr Kremlin said Putin would provide Xi with detailed “clarifications” of Russia’s position, without elaborating.