Russia’s Putin to clarify Ukraine conflict stance to China’s Xi during state visit

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20th March 2023 – (Moscow) Russian President Vladimir Putin will use Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Russia as an opportunity to provide “detailed clarifications” on Russia’s stance regarding the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov announced this ahead of Xi’s visit that began on Monday, 20th March. The two leaders will discuss themes from the peace plan for Ukraine that China proposed last month. Peskov confirmed that Putin will give “exhaustive clarifications” to Xi during the exchange of views to provide a first-hand view of the current situation from the Russian side.

Xi is scheduled to hold “informal” talks with Putin on Monday, followed by dinner, and formal talks on Tuesday. The discussions will include themes from China’s 12-point paper, which called for dialogue between the two sides but did not contain a roadmap for ending the war, now in its 13th month. While Ukraine cautiously welcomed the plan, the United States was dismissive due to China’s refusal to condemn Russia’s invasion.

According to Peskov, the discussions will inevitably include the topics that featured in Beijing’s peace plan for Ukraine, but he declined to answer directly when asked if China could become an intermediary between Moscow and Washington. The focus remains on preventing any slowdown in hostilities, with Washington, the State Department and the US National Security Council talking openly and officially about this. Russia accuses the United States and other Western countries of pouring weapons into Ukraine to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia, while Washington and its allies argue that they are arming Ukraine to help it defend against an unprovoked Russian invasion and imperial-style land grab.

Peskov reiterated that the United States is sticking to its position aimed at further provoking the conflict, preventing any decrease in the intensity of hostilities, and pumping weapons into Ukraine. Moscow perceives this stance as a strategic defeat and accuses the West of seeking to contain Russia. Nevertheless, the focus remains on a peaceful resolution of the conflict and preventing the escalation of hostilities.