Putin arrived in the Chinese capital just after 2 a.m. in Lisbon.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday in Beijing, after meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, that the Russian leader will meet with Xi to exchange views on bilateral relations that are “growing.”
During the meeting, which will be held on the 18th of this month, the two leaders will discuss bilateral and international issues in a “friendly and frank” dialogue, according to the Kremlin.
Russian Presidential Advisor Yuri Ushakov said on Monday that Putin will participate in the third Belt and Road Forum as a “chief guest” and will speak at the event shortly after host Xi Jinping.
Putin arrived in China accompanied by a large delegation of senior officials, including two deputy prime ministers, and officials responsible for diplomacy, economics, transportation, or finance.
The delegation also includes the Governor of the Central Bank, the Director of Russian Railways, directors of Russia’s largest bank Sber, VTB Bank, the gas company Gazprom, the atomic agency Rosatom and other executives.
China served as a “lifeline” for Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine. The Asian country is now Russia’s main trading partner and diplomatic ally.
China considers the partnership with Russia essential to confront the liberal democratic order, at a time when its relationship with the United States is also going through a period of great tension, characterized by disagreements over trade and technology or disputes over human rights issues. The status of Hong Kong or Taiwan, and sovereignty over the South and East China Seas.
Just weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Putin and Xi announced an “unlimited” friendship in Beijing.
China rejected Russia’s condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine and criticized the imposition of international sanctions on Moscow.
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