20th September 2023 – (Moscow) Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit Beijing in October for crucial discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping, marking his first known trip abroad since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against him. Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, emphasized that the West’s attempts to contain both Russia and China should, in fact, foster deeper cooperation between the two influential powers. Patrushev expressed anticipation for extensive bilateral talks between Putin and Xi, highlighting the significance of the upcoming meeting.
This development follows China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, visiting Russia, further signalling the potential for a Xi-Putin meeting. Putin’s participation in the third Belt and Road Forum comes after Xi extended an invitation during his high-profile visit to Moscow in March. However, the timing of the visit coincides with the ICC’s issuance of an arrest warrant against Putin, accusing him of unlawfully deporting numerous children from Ukraine.
Moscow vehemently denies these allegations and contends that the warrant is evidence of Western hostility towards Russia. In response, the Kremlin has initiated a criminal case against the ICC prosecutor and judges involved in the warrant’s issuance. Patrushev, a trusted ally of Putin, emphasized Russia’s commitment to enhancing its ties with China, emphasizing the progressive development and strengthening of their comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation.