Xi Hails ‘New Era’ As He Arrives In Moscow In Bid To Broker Ukraine Peace Deal
Monday’s arrival in Moscow of Chinese leader Xi Jinping was to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for what Beijing called a “mission towards peace.”
This visit highlights the strengthening of ties between these two powerful nations. It also comes as Xi tries to negotiate a peaceful solution between Russia and Ukraine. The U.S. opposed Xi’s call for a ceasefire and expressed concern that a Beijing-brokered deal would favor Russia, which invaded Ukraine more than a year ago.
According to TASS, Xi stated that he was glad to return to China at President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s invitation. “I’m sure that my visit will prove fruitful.”
Xi was greeted by a red carpet, as a military band performed the national anthems. Xi praised a “new era”, and stated that his first state visit since the beginning of the war to Russia would bring “new momentum” in relations. This is China’s strongest support of Russia since the war started on February 24, 2022.
Xi was to meet with Putin informally Monday before a formal dinner. Then, he would hold peace negotiations on Tuesday. The U.S. and NATO are closely monitoring the visit, and Russia is using it to show that it has a strong ally in a time when it has become more isolated from the West.
Xi is also reported to have reached out to Volodymyr Zelensky (although details are still unclear). Last week, Qin Gang, the Chinese Foreign Minister, spoke to Dmytro Kuleba, his Ukrainian counterpart via phone.
John Kirby, spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, told reporters last week that the Biden administration believes that a ceasefire against Ukraine would work.
While it sounds reasonable and a good thing, a ceasefire now would basically ratify Russia’s conquest. Russia would be free to use the ceasefire to consolidate its position in Ukraine, to rebuild their forces and refit them.
This meeting takes place a day following Putin’s surprise visit to Mariupol (a Russian-occupied Ukrainian city in southern Ukraine), where he briefly spoke with his supporters.