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Xi Jinping in Moscow: China to 'prioritise' ties with Russia

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photo during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photo during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 21, 2023. Copyright Dmitry Astakhov/Sputnik
Copyright Dmitry Astakhov/Sputnik
By Euronews with AP & AFP
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Xi’s trip to Russia is his first abroad since his re-election earlier this month.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had "very important and frank" talks with China's Xi Jinping during talks at the Kremlin on Tuesday afternoon. 

After the discussions, Putin told Xi that Russia can meet China's "growing demand" for energy. 

Earlier, Xi met with Russia's PM Mikhail Mishustin, and described Beijing and Moscow as "great neighbouring powers" and "strategic partners," saying China would "prioritise" ties with Russia.

The two countries have described Xi’s three-day trip as an opportunity to deepen their “no-limits friendship.”

China looks to Russia as a source of oil and gas for its energy-hungry economy, and as a partner in standing up to what both see as US aggression, domination of global affairs and unfair punishment for their human rights records.

AP Photo
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, right, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping after their talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 21, 2023.AP Photo

Xi's three-day trip also serves as a show of support for an internationally isolated Putin, just days after a war crimes tribunal issued a warrant for his arrest over an accusation of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children.

"We are always open to negotiations," Putin told the Chinese leader, who was on his first visit to Moscow since the start of Russia's military intervention in Ukraine last year.

President Vladimir Putin told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday that Russia was open to discussing China's proposals to end the fighting in Ukraine at the start of high-stakes talks at the Kremlin.

The summit came as China seeks to portray itself as a neutral party in the Ukraine conflict, but Washington warned the world should not be fooled by Beijing's moves. 

Both Moscow and Beijing have accused Washington of trying to isolate them and hold back their development as they challenge it for regional and global leadership.

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