MOSCOW: Russian president Vladimir Putin intends to visit China in October, planning his visit to coincide with a “One Belt, One Road” forum, Kremlin foreign policy advisor Yury Ushakov told reporters yesterday, according to the Russian state news agency TASS.
China has become Russia’s most significant ally since early last year when the West’s already strained ties with Moscow were chilling further as Putin was preparing to send his armed forces into Ukraine.
Putin last visited Beijing just before the invasion, which Russia calls a “special military operation”, and together with Chinese president Xi Jinping announced a “no limits” partnership that has extended into economic, trade, political, and military areas.
China has declined to blame Moscow for the war and condemned Western sanctions on Russia, even as it has profited by securing discounts for oil and gas that Russia no longer sells to Europe, and watched Russia increasingly use its yuan as a reserve currency, in preference to the US dollar.
Xi in turn came to Moscow in March, sealing a series of economic and other agreements with his “dear friend” Putin.
China presented a paper in Moscow calling for a de-escalation and eventual ceasefire in Ukraine, but Kyiv and its Western allies rejected the plan, saying it would lock in Russian territorial gains.