17th March 2023 – (Beijing) On Friday, it was announced that Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit President Vladimir Putin in Russia for a state visit between 20th – 22nd March. The visit was confirmed by both Beijing and the Kremlin, with the latter stating that it was made “at the invitation of Vladimir Putin.”
During the talks, both leaders are expected to discuss various topics, including the development of comprehensive partnership relations and strategic cooperation between Russia and China. The Kremlin also stated that a number of important bilateral documents will be signed during the visit.
China has previously offered to mediate in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a rare telephonic conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart on Thursday, China’s foreign minister expressed concern that the ongoing conflict with Russia was spinning out of control and urged talks with Moscow for a political solution.
Notably, in February 2022, Beijing and Moscow established a “no limits” partnership during Putin’s visit to China for the opening of the Winter Olympics. This partnership was formed weeks before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Since then, both China and Russia have consistently reaffirmed the strength of their ties. Trade between the two countries has also increased since the invasion, with China being Russia’s biggest buyer of oil – a key source of revenue for Moscow – at a time when the European Union and its allies have economically boycotted the Kremlin.
The upcoming visit of President Xi to Russia is expected to further strengthen Sino-Russian cooperation. The Kremlin has stated that “important bilateral documents will be signed” during the visit, without elaborating further on the specifics.