President Xi Jinping arrives in Moscow for 3-day state visit to meet Putin

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20th March 2023 – (Moscow) Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow on Monday for a 3-day State Visit to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The visit is expected to focus on the resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, with the Chinese government proposing a plan to stop the conflict. Xi will be the first world leader to shake hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader last week. The warrant was issued in connection to the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The Chinese leader was greeted by a military brass band upon arrival at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister for Tourism, Sport, Culture and Communications, Dmitri N. Chernyshenko, was also present to welcome him. Upon arrival, the Chinese leader expressed his pleasure at being invited on a state visit by President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, stating that he was glad to return to the land of their close neighbour. According to Russia’s state-run Tass news agency, Mr. Xi highlighted the strong relationship between China and Russia, referring to them as good neighbours and reliable partners connected by mountains and rivers.

According to the Kremlin, the two leaders will discuss a range of issues including bilateral relations, significant international and regional issues, and the deepening of strategic cooperation between the two countries. They will also aim to enhance practical cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the integration of the Eurasian Economic Union.

This visit comes as Russia faces sanctions from the West and increasing pressure over the Ukraine crisis. China, on the other hand, has been expanding its global influence through the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to connect Asia with Europe and Africa through a network of infrastructure projects.

The relationship between China and Russia has grown stronger in recent years, with both countries becoming closer allies in the face of international pressures. The two countries have deepened their cooperation on trade, energy, and infrastructure development, and have sought to align their foreign policies on key issues such as Syria and North Korea.

Despite their close relationship, China and Russia have faced some challenges in their bilateral ties, particularly in the areas of trade and investment. The two countries have yet to fully align their economic policies and have had disagreements over the pricing of energy resources and the sharing of infrastructure costs.

Nevertheless, the two countries remain committed to strengthening their relationship and have made significant progress in recent years. During the visit, the two leaders are expected to sign a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding, including those related to energy, investment, and technology.