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Putin Receives Xi: Russia's Kneeling to China or 'Powerful Impetus' for Mutual Relations?


Kremlin chief Putin receives China's head of state Xi Jinping in Moscow during the Ukraine war. Before the whole world, those in power want to consolidate their alliance against the USA.

Kremlin chief Putin receives China's head of state Xi Jinping in Moscow during the Ukraine war.

Before the whole world, those in power want to consolidate their alliance against the USA.

Moscow/Beijing – A sign of strength or a last gasp?

Shortly before the meeting with China's head of state Xi Jinping, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin is demonstratively calm at the wheel of a car in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

For the first time since the beginning of the Ukraine war, Putin not only visited Crimea on Saturday to mark the 9th anniversary of the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula.

Even before the arrival of China's party and head of state Xi Jinping for the three-day state visit this Monday, Putin also drove through the destroyed Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which was occupied by Russian troops.

The 70-year-old informed himself on site about the reconstruction.

But the images also raised doubts as to whether Putin's visit was just a fake.

At the same time, his appearance caused a lot of speculation about the state of health of the Kremlin boss.

The videos of his stay in Crimea again raised the question of whether Putin was ill.

A visibly limping Putin arrived in occupied Crimea

Russian sources report Putin's visit to Sevastopol to "celebrate" the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea

Which, by the way, will be one of the items on Putin's list of accusations at The Hague Court. pic.

— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) March 18, 2023

Putin meets Xi: Russia on its knees or the start of a joint alliance

Irrespective of this, a three-day state visit to Moscow is now pending.

One that could give Putin, who himself admitted to problems in the Russian army on state TV, a boost in the deadlocked Ukraine war.

Because none other than China's head of state is honored.

He chose Russia as the destination for his first trip abroad since he began his third term in office.

So Putin meets Xi and the world looks on spellbound.

Putin, who was issued with an arrest warrant for war crimes in Ukraine by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Friday, the timing of the long-planned visit is more than opportune.

Xi's visit to Russia, who, like the Kremlin chief, attributes a key role in the Ukraine war to the United States, gives the Russian president the opportunity to stage a show that shows that his country's international isolation is nothing more than a fairy tale.

At the same time, the stumbling Putin could hope that his powerful friend will strengthen his back in the Ukraine war and that an alliance will be forged that will stand up to the West.

Putin himself, who, according to a secret service, is already "searching for a successor" within his own ranks, could give more support in his own ranks if the meeting with Xi ends positively.

Xi visits Putin: Russia's media cheer - "A sensation, China shows which side it is on."

At home, the Russian media are hailing Xi's visit to Putin like a victory.

"A symbolic visit.

A ceremony,” Moskovsky Komsomoljez


the visit as a crystal-clear gesture of support for Russia in the Ukraine war.

"A sensation, China is showing which side it is on."

China itself does not intend to go that far.

An "objective position" is being taken on Ukraine, the cooperation with Russia is not directed against third parties, instead the Chinese Foreign Ministry qualified Xi's visit to Putin on Friday.

Putin receives a visit from Xi: Russia's and China's heads of state meet for talks in private

Nevertheless, the two heads of state will meet in private on Monday afternoon during Xi's visit to Putin.

A detail that Kremlin advisor Yuriy Ushakov highlighted as the central event.

It is about the "most important, the most sensitive key issues".

So about gas, oil, Taiwan, but above all about Ukraine and Beijing's peace initiative.

Furthermore, the US think tank

Institute for the Study of War

speculates that a possible circumvention of Western sanctions is also being discussed behind closed doors.

Meeting between Putin and Xi: China's "peace plan" for the Ukraine war probably plays a central role

During Xi's visit to Putin, the two heads of state will probably pay little attention to the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against the Russian ruler.

After all, China, like Russia, does not recognize jurisdiction in The Hague.

The topic of the Ukraine war, on the other hand, will probably play a central role in the meeting between Putin and Xi.

China recently spoke out in favor of negotiations and a ceasefire, while Russia is at least open to a peace plan.

But it is also clear that Moscow has not abandoned its war aims and still wants to achieve a military victory.

Even if a NATO official sees no chance for Russia in the Ukraine war.

However, it remains unclear whether and how Xi Jinping will use his influence on Putin to mediate peace.

The 69-year-old had also warned of nuclear threats.

At the Munich Security Conference, China's leading foreign politician Wang Yi presented a 12-point plan as a peace initiative for a "political solution to the Ukraine crisis", which, however, met with disappointment above all in Europe.

Putin meets with Xi: Russia-China talks should give 'powerful impetus'

Xi's state visit to Putin is the "most important event" in the Russian-Chinese partnership, said Putin's foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov.

The negotiations should give the relations between the two countries a "powerful impetus" - not only for economic cooperation.

The signing of documents to expand an "all-encompassing partnership" and "strategic cooperation" is planned.

China, hungry for raw materials, relies on cheap oil and gas from Russia, while Moscow, under pressure from Western sanctions, is hoping for economic help from Beijing.

The main focus here is on deliveries of microchips and other technological components and technical equipment.

Xi's visit to Putin: military cooperation between Russia and China is also an issue

After reports of ammunition and weapon shortages in the Ukraine war, Russia is likely to count on China here too.

"The issue of military-technical cooperation will undoubtedly be discussed," Ushakov said on Friday, announcing Xi's state visit to Putin.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has also been invited to the talks.

Visit to Putin: balancing act for China's head of state Xi Jinping - "journey of peace, friendship"

For Xi Jinping, the visit to Putin is a balancing act.

In the view of many commentators, the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Putin is not least a signal to China not to get involved with a suspected war criminal.

In contrast, China's state media have long since passed their verdict: Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow will be a "journey of peace, friendship and cooperation".


Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin (left) at a meeting with China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing in February last year.

© Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik Government/AP/dpa

But for Xi Jinping, the trip to Moscow will above all be a diplomatic tightrope act: On the one hand, the state leadership is trying to present China in Europe as a neutral peace nation that is opposed to sanctions, but still adheres to them externally.

On the other hand, China has never condemned the war in Ukraine.

"Sino-Russian cooperation is entirely correct and should be free from interference or coercion by third parties," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying



Ahead of Xi's visit to Putin: China supports Russia with 'civilian' hunting rifles

At the same time, the news portal


published a report on Thursday citing customs data: According to this, Chinese companies are said to have delivered weapons to Russia several times in 2022, including a thousand assault rifles that China had declared as “civilian” hunting rifles.

In addition, Chinese spare parts for combat drones and more than twelve tons of protective equipment are said to have reached Russia - partly via Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Many observers believe that an open commitment by China to supply Russia with arms and ammunition would be a triumph for Putin in the negotiations.

The price for Beijing to fall under Western sanctions could be very high.

Putin welcomes Xi: China as a beneficiary in the Ukraine war – Beijing wants to avoid the collapse of the Kremlin

More than ever, Russia and Vladimir Putin are concerned with achieving at least verbal success.

China also wants to demonstrate its global strength, but at the same time not jeopardize its relations with Western Europe, but rather improve them by, among other things, implementing its “peace plan” for Ukraine.

Politically, Beijing is seen as the main beneficiary of the conflict, which ties up much of US resources and makes Russia more dependent on China.


New front against the West: China exploits Russia's weakness to take the lead.

© Alexei Druzhinin

In Russian expert circles, however, a certain uneasiness about their own position is spreading.

"China is fighting in Ukraine to the last Russian," reasoned one historian.

Political scientist Alexander Gabuyev, on the other hand, explained to the


that it is important to the Chinese that the Ukraine war does not lead to the collapse of the regime in Russia and that a pro-Western government is formed in Moscow.

In the end, only time will tell whether the situation will result in Russian kneeling or in far-reaching cooperation between China and Russia on an equal footing.

It will also be exciting to see whether the friendship that undoubtedly connects Putin and Xi will play a role in the negotiations or whether the tried and true quote that is usually attributed to Charles de Gaulle will prevail: “States have no friends, only interests ." (dpa/



Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-03-20

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