Mar 20, 2023 - World

Putin praises "good old friend" Xi ahead of Chinese leader's Moscow visit

 Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph during their meeting in Beijing, on February 4, 2022.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during their meeting in Beijing in February last year. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

China's leader Xi Jinping described his upcoming meeting Monday with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as a "journey of friendship, cooperation and peace" in an op-ed carried by the two countries' state media.

The big picture: Xi's first Moscow summit with Putin since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began comes three days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russia's leader for war crimes charges.

  • Xi's comments that touted a peace plan that Beijing announced last month came hours after Putin praised his "good old friend" Xi in an article published in a Chinese newspaper.

What they're saying: Xi said in his op-ed that he looked forward to "working with President Putin to jointly adopt a new vision, a new blueprint and new measures for the growth of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the years to come."

  • Putin praised Beijing's "willingness to play a constructive role in resolving the crisis."

Between the lines: Beijing is seeking to take a leading role in one of the world's most high-profile current crises — and to bolster its own geopolitical interests by doing so, per Axios China author Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian.

Flashback: Xi and Putin hold first meeting since Ukraine invasion began

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