Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has high hopes for a visit to Moscow by his Chinese counterpart and “good friend” Xi Jinping.
Putin to welcome China’s Xi to Moscow at critical time
Three days after being accused by an international tribunal of war crimes in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be looking more than ever for a show of solidarity from his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping when he welcomes him to Moscow.
Xi will be the first world leader to shake Putin’s hand since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader on Friday over the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia since the start of the war.
Russia will present Xi’s trip on Monday – his first since securing an unprecedented third term this month – as evidence that it has a powerful friend prepared to stand with it against a hostile West that it says is trying in vain to isolate and defeat it.
Neither Moscow nor Beijing are members of the ICC, whose action the Kremlin said was outrageous but legally void. But by making Putin a wanted man in 123 countries virtually on the eve of Xi’s trip, the court has shone an awkward spotlight on a meeting that was already delicate for the Chinese leader.