After talks with Xi, Putin hails China's proposals for Ukraine
Published in News & Features
After two days of talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged even closer ties with Russia’s most powerful backer and hailed Beijing’s proposals for ending his war in Ukraine.
“Many of the provisions of the peace plan proposed by China are in line with Russian approaches and could be used as the basis for a resolution when Kyiv and the West are ready for it,” Putin said Tuesday in his most detailed comments yet on the blueprint, speaking in the Kremlin alongside Xi.
The U.S. and its allies have rejected the Chinese initiative as biased toward Russia and Ukraine has also reacted cautiously. But the proposals are Beijing’s most ambitious effort yet to seek an end to the year-old war. Xi discussed them in detail in one-on-one talks Monday, Putin said.
Xi touted the close relationship between the two countries, signaling Beijing’s strong support for Russia amid efforts by the US and its allies to isolate Putin over his invasion of Ukraine. Xi invited Putin to make a return visit to China later this year, something Kremlin officials said was a possibility.
“Putin and Xi share a fundamental mistrust of the West and the U.S. and in this, China supports Russia,” said Vita Spivak, non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “But that doesn’t mean China supports the war in Ukraine. They see Russian foreign policy as unpredictable and chaotic and they just have to wait it out.”
John Kirby, a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, tore into Xi for flying “all the way to Moscow” without yet speaking to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“And he and his regime keeps parroting the Russian propaganda that this is somehow a war of the west on Russia, that it’s some sort of existential threat to Mr. Putin,” Kirby told reporters at the White House. “That’s just a bunch of malarkey. Ukraine posed no threat to anybody, let alone Russia.”
“Now look, if if he’s willing to talk to President Zelenskyy and willing to get the other side and, if any future potential negotiation can incorporate Ukrainian views and perspectives,” Kirby added, “then that’s something that that could be seen as impartial.”
Russia has become increasingly dependent on China for trade with other markets cut off, but there was little sign of new deals.
Putin hailed rising trade between the two countries and said he’d discussed the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline to carry more Russian gas to China but didn’t announce an agreement. “Almost all the parameters of this accord have been agreed,” he said, echoing his comments at a meeting last fall.
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