March 17, 2023 12:16 GMT
Putin, Xi To Discuss Ukraine Conflict Says Russian Official-RIA
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Russia's state-run RIA reporting that as part of his visit to Russia next week, Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the conflict in Ukraine according to an unnamed Russian official. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is also expected to take part in the talks. The two presidents will also discuss energy details between the two nations, and make a press statement on 21 March.
- Interfax reports the official stating there is no 'master and slave' in Russia's relations with China, and that the two presidents 'will sign two important documents on cooperation until 2030.'
- The potential for a Chinese-brokered ceasefire is slim but not impossible. On 16 March, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba held a phone call with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang, after which Kuleba stated, "...we discussed the significance of the principle of territorial integrity. I underscored the importance of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s] Peace Formula for ending the aggression and restoring just peace in Ukraine.”
- Western reaction has been limited so far, although a short time ago, UK PM Rishi Sunak's spox stated that "If China wants to play a genuine role in restoring sovereignty to Ukraine, we would welcome that."