China’s President Xi Jinping arrived Monday in Moscow for his first visit to Russia since his counterpart Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine. Xi’s visit was expected to last three days.
“I am confident that the visit will be fruitful and give new impetus to the healthy and stable development of China-Russia relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation in a new era,” Xi said after arriving in Moscow, according to state-run Russian news agency Tass.
Xi was expected to have lunch with Putin Monday before holding formal talks with the Russian leader on Tuesday, BBC News reported.
“I expect that during the visit I will thoroughly exchange views with President Vladimir Putin on bilateral relations and important regional and international topics of mutual interest, and outline a plan for developing strategic interaction and practical cooperation,” Xi said.
The Chinese leader’s visit comes amid concerns that China may be preparing to provide lethal weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine, which China denies. It also comes days after Putin was accused of war crimes, including orchestrating the forced removal of Ukrainian children to Russian territory, by prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
China recently proposed a “peace” plan for ending the war, which urges respect for the “sovereignty of all countries” but does not call for a withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.
Haley Ott is a digital reporter/producer for CBS News based in London.