Xi Meeting Putin in First Visit to Russia Since Ukraine Invasion

Sputnik/Sergey Bobylev/Pool via Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Sept. 16, 2022.

SHENYANG, China — For the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting his northern neighbor.

Xi is in Russia for three days, starting with a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday.

During the Xi-Putin summit, the two leaders are expected to discuss cooperation in various areas, including the situation related to Ukraine, military technology and energy.

In conjunction with the visit to Russia, Xi contributed an article to Russian government-run gazette Rossiyskaya Gazeta published Monday, while Putin returned the favor in a piece published in the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party.

The two leaders sought to emphasize the importance of Beijing-Moscow relations to the general public of the other country.

According to China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, Xi’s article mentioned the Ukraine situation thus: “China has all along upheld an objective and impartial position based on the merits of the issue, and actively promoted peace talks.”

Xi also indicated his intention to play a constructive role toward a political solution to the issue.

“We believe that as long as all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and pursue equal-footed, rational and results-oriented dialogue and consultation, they will find a reasonable way to resolve the crisis,” he wrote.

Showing a supportive stance to Russia’s claims that the eastward expansion of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) constitutes a security threat, Xi also emphasized the necessity of respecting “the legitimate security concerns of all countries.”

Putin, in his article, expressed hope for China’s role concerning the Ukraine situation.

“We appreciate the well-balanced stance on the events in Ukraine adopted by the PRC,” Putin wrote, referring to China by its full name, the People’s Republic of China.