Putin Welcomes Xi Jinping’s Bid For ‘Constructive Role’

As Xi Jinping gears up for his Russia visit, President Vladimir Putin welcomed Beijing’s willingness to play a “constructive role” in solving the Ukraine “crisis.”

What Happened: In an article written by the Kremlin for a Chinese newspaper on the eve of a visit by the Chinese leader, Putin called Xi his “good old friend” and said Russia had high hopes for his visit.

Xi’s trip to Russia from March 20 to 22 will be his first overseas trip since he won a third term as president earlier this month — and the first to Russia since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February last year.

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“We are grateful for the balanced line of [China] in connection with the events taking place in Ukraine, for understanding their background and true causes. We welcome China’s willingness to play a constructive role in resolving the crisis,” Putin said.

The top Chinese leader’s visit comes at a critical moment when the international criminal court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Putin for overseeing the abduction of Ukrainian children.

Xi will be the first world leader to shake hands with Putin since the ICC warrant, which Russia has likened to “toilet paper.” Neither China nor Russia are members of the court or recognize its jurisdiction.

On his official visit, the Chinese president is expected to discuss Beijing’s recently released 12-point blueprint, suggesting a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia and a gradual de-escalation of the situation to pave the way to end the war.

Read Next: US Urges Xi Jinping To Contact Zelenskyy For Peace Deal: ‘Hear Directly The Ukrainian Perspective’

Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.