Russia’s Putin ‘Open’ For China’s Peace Plan On Ukraine
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
MOSCOW/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Three days after he was indicted for war crimes, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday he would discuss a plan “to settle the acute crisis in Ukraine” with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Xi arrived in Moscow on Monday after unveiling a 12-point plan to end the war by “ceasing hostilities” and resuming peace talks. “We’re always open for a negotiation process,” Putin noted about the plan as the leaders called each other “dear friend.”
The United States warned the peace plan could be a “stalling tactic.” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken argued that the “world should not be fooled by any tactical move by Russia, supported by China or any other country, to freeze the war on its own terms.”
The Chinese president is the first world leader to shake hands with Putin, who on Friday was confronted with an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague related to the war in Ukraine.
Xi was to position himself as a potential peacemaker in the Ukraine war during his two-day visit to Russia – his first state visit since Putin’s invasion, observers said.
He claims to have at least some negotiating credentials after scoring a diplomatic victory in mediating between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which have now resumed diplomatic ties.
With that agreement in the bag, Xi could now explore the opportunity to mediate between Russia and Ukraine, analysts suggested.
Kyiv said it welcomed Chinese efforts but made clear it would not give up any territory, including the Crimea
Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.
For his part, Russian President Putin hopes to project unity with China amid Western isolation, according to analysts. Washington condemned Xi for providing “diplomatic cover” for Moscow to continue “crimes in Ukraine.”
Yet Russia didn’t seem concerned about this criticism as a military brass band greeted Xi at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, where Russia’s deputy prime minister welcomed him for tourism, sport, culture, and communications, Dmitri Chernyshenko.
Xi did not directly address Western worries that the Chinese-Russian meeting could include talks on Chinese military aid. “I am very glad, at the invitation of President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, to come back to the land of our close neighbor on a state visit,” Xi stressed upon arrival.
“I am confident the visit will be fruitful and give new momentum to the healthy and stable development of Chinese-Russian relations,” he added without elaborating.
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