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14 May, 2024 19:12

Kremlin reveals details of Putin’s China trip

The visit is intended to send a clear message about the importance of Sino-Russian relations
Kremlin reveals details of Putin’s China trip

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first trip abroad following his inauguration will feature stops in Beijing and Harbin, along with discussions of bilateral relations with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Putin’s aide Yury Ushakov has said.

Moscow announced on Monday that Putin would visit China on May 16-17 at Xi’s invitation. The two leaders will mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Moscow and Beijing.

“There will be an in-depth exchange of views on issues of interaction in various international organizations and structures, including the UN, where Russia and China speak in solidarity on almost all topics on the UN agenda,” Ushakov said. 

“It is very important under the current circumstances that our partnership demonstrates it is resistant to any outside meddling,” the Kremlin aide noted.

Very deliberately, the Russian leader will arrive in Beijing exactly ten days after his inauguration, just as Xi did when he visited Moscow in March 2023.

The fact that this is Putin’s first foreign trip after last week’s inauguration is a clear message about the importance of the Russian-Chinese relationship, as well as the “personal chemistry that has developed between the two leaders,” according to Ushakov.

Russia appreciates China’s balanced position on the Ukraine crisis, Ushakov said, including Beijing’s rejection of a conference hosted by Switzerland meant to discuss Kiev’s peace proposals – but without Moscow’s participation.

Other items on the agenda include linking the Eurasian Union integration processes with China’s Belt and Road initiative, cooperation within the BRICS framework, the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, and matters in central and northeast Asia.

Putin will be accompanied by former Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his designated successor Andrey Belousov, who are expected to take part in “informal” talks with the Chinese leader and his aides. 

Among the more notable members of the high-ranking delegation headed for China were Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Bank of Russia head Elvira Nabiullina.

About a dozen bilateral documents are expected to be signed during the visit, along with many commercial deals and regional agreements. The Russian president is also expected to formally invite his Chinese host to the next BRICS summit, scheduled to take place in Kazan in October.