President Putin and Xi meeting kicks off in Moscow

The Russian and Chinese leaders are expected to discuss a number of key issues, including the Ukraine conflict, energy and security.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is holding informal talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as part of the latter’s three-day visit to Moscow. The leaders will discuss key global issues and relations between the two countries.

Putin and Xi are expected to conclude the portion of the visit devoted to negotiations on Tuesday by signing a statement on deepening bilateral relations and expanding economic ties.

Xi’s visit marks the first time the Chinese leader has traveled to Moscow since Russia launched its military offensive in Ukraine, although the two presidents have been in frequent contact.

While China has not openly supported Russia’s actions in Ukraine, neither has it joined the West in condemning the military operation and imposing sanctions on Moscow. Beijing has instead called for a peaceful resolution to the hostilities and last month revealed its own 12-step peace plan designed to end the conflict.

Moscow has said that it would consider the proposal but has pointed to several factors that stand in the way of a peaceful resolution in Ukraine. Those include the insistence of Kiev and its Western backers on inflicting a military defeat of Russia, their firm opposition to any sort of ceasefire, as well as a law enacted by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that forbids holding negotiations with Russia as long as Putin remains in office.

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