Russia’s Putin, China’s Xi to meet next week


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet next week at a summit in Uzbekistan, marking the leaders’ first in-person encounter since the start of the war in Ukraine.

The two presidents will meet at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, held in the Uzbek city of Samarkand on Sept. 15-16, Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov told reporters on Wednesday.

“Less than 10 days from now another meeting of our leaders will take place at the SCO summit in Samarkand. We are actively preparing for it,” Denisov was quoted by Russia’s state news agency TASS as saying.

“This summit promises to be interesting, because it will be the first full-fledged summit since the pandemic,” Denisov added.

The visit to Uzbekistan will be Xi’s first foreign trip in more than two years. Russian media also reported the Chinese leader’s plans to visit Kazakhstan prior to the summit in Uzbekistan, but the reports have remained unconfirmed.

Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet in person at a summit in Uzbekistan next week.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet in person at a summit in Uzbekistan next week.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Putin speaks during the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, on Wednesday in Vladivostok, Russia.
Putin speaks during the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, on Wednesday in Vladivostok, Russia.
Getty Images

Putin and Xi last met in Beijing in February, only weeks before the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine. The two presidents oversaw the signing of an agreement pledging that relations between the sides would have “no limits,” and voicing their joint opposition to “further enlargement of NATO.”

It remains unclear whether Xi knew at the time of Russia’s plan to attack Ukraine.

Putin and Xi, who famously described the Kremlin strongman as his “best and bosom friend,” have spoken twice over the phone since February, most recently in June, which coincided with the Chinese leader’s 69th birthday, CNN reported.

While offering its tacit support for Russia’s war in Ukraine, now in its seventh month, China has sought to appear neutral and avoid possible repercussions from supporting the Russian economy amid international sanctions.

It will be President Xi's first foreign trip in more than two years. He is pictured taking part in the 14th BRICS Summit via video link in June.
It will be President Xi’s first foreign trip in more than two years. He is pictured taking part in the 14th BRICS Summit via video link in June.
AP

Moscow and Beijing have increasingly aligned their foreign policies to oppose liberal democratic forces in Asia, Europe and beyond, making a stand for authoritarian rule with tight borders and little regard for free speech, minority rights or opposition politics.

The Russian military held sweeping military drills that began last week and ended Wednesday in the country’s east that involved forces from China — another show of increasingly close ties between Moscow and Beijing amid tensions with the West.

Even though Moscow and Beijing in the past rejected the possibility of forging a military alliance, Putin has said that such a prospect can’t be ruled out.

He also has noted that Russia has been sharing highly sensitive military technologies with China that helped significantly bolster its defense capability.

With Post wires



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