Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping will visit Moscow in the coming months, Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed.
“We await a visit of the president of the People’s Republic of China to Russia; we have agreed on this,” Putin said during a Feb. 22 meeting in Moscow with China’s highest-ranking diplomat, Wang Yi.
Putin didn’t specify an exact timetable for the visit.
“Everything is progressing, developing,” he said. “We are reaching new frontiers.”
Xi’s visit to Russia will be the Chinese leader’s first since 2019, although he and Putin have met in person since then.
The leaders met in Beijing in February 2022, when they agreed to a “no limits” partnership ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,
The pair met again during a security conference in Uzbekistan in September 2022, where they vowed to promote a new, multipolar world order against the United States and the liberal international order.
That so-called multipolar order was among the talking points taken up by Wang during this week’s meeting with Putin and may signal the types of discussion that Xi and Putin will have later.
“Together, we support multipolarity and democratization in international relations,” Wang told Putin.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says it welcomes China taking a more active role in efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine but stated that officials hadn’t discussed a “peace plan” that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is reportedly working on.
Putin’s confirmation of Xi’s plan to visit is the first official acknowledgment of an event that has been the subject of speculation for months and comes at a time when the international community is increasingly frustrated with the behavior of the Kremlin and also the CCP.
U.S. officials said earlier in the day that there would be consequences for China should it expand its support of Russia to include lethal aid for Russia’s attempted conquest of Ukraine.
Similarly, U.S. President Joe Biden delivered a vigorous speech to NATO leaders earlier in the day, vowing that the United States would defend NATO territory, citing the alliance’s collective defense provision.
“We will defend literally every inch of NATO,” Biden said.
Reuters contributed to this report.