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Leaders pledge even closer ties and tout Chinese proposal for Ukraine, viewed skeptically by Kyiv and the West

2 months ago
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1 hr 14 min ago

Xi and Putin call for end to actions that “increase tensions” and prolong war in Ukraine

From CNN's Wayne Chang

Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping arrive for a signing ceremony following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21.Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping arrive for a signing ceremony following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21. (Grigory Sysoyev/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are calling for an end to actions that “increase tensions” and prolong the war in Ukraine, according to a readout released by Chinese state media People’s Daily of the two leaders meeting in Moscow Tuesday.

According to the readout, Russia spoke positively about China’s “objective and fair” stance on Ukraine and both sides opposed any country or group of countries harming the “legitimate security interests of other countries in pursuit of military, political or other advantages.”

Russia reiterated its commitment to resuming peace talks as soon as possible, which China appreciated, according to People’s Daily. Russia also welcomed China playing an “active role” in finding a solution to the conflict in Ukraine through political and diplomatic means, including some of the measures China proposed in its 12-point peace plan.

Both leaders said that the “legitimate security concerns of all countries” must be respected when it comes to how to end the war and attempts that “add fuel to fire” as well as “confrontation between blocs” must be prevented, the readout said.

Both sides also opposed any unilateral sanctions unauthorized by the United Nations Security Council. 

1 hr 16 min ago

Xi says he has built a "close relationship" with Putin over the past decade

From CNN's Xiaofei Xu in Paris and Wayne Chang in Hong Kong

Chinese President Xi Jinping said he has built a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past 10 years.

"I reviewed the results of relations between our two countries in the past 10 years with President Putin. We agreed that the relations between our two nations go way beyond ourselves. They are crucial to the world order and all mankind's future and destiny," Xi said during remarks in Moscow on Tuesday following the signing of a joint declaration of cooperation.

"Since last year, the Sino-Russian comprehensive pragmatic cooperation has achieved great results. It continues to show that this cooperation has a solid base, is very complimentary and very tough," Xi continued, adding that trade volume between the two countries increased by 116% compared to a decade ago.

1 hr 19 min ago

"China's peace plan can be taken as the basis for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine," Putin says

From CNN's Chris Liakos

China’s proposal for a peace plan in Ukraine, “can be taken as the basis for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine, when the West and in Kyiv are ready for it,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

"We believe in many of the points on the peace plan put forward by China,” he added.

Putin said he also discussed sanctions with his Chinese counterpart.

“When we discussed international problems, we stated that Russia and China’s views are converging and very close on a number of them,” Putin said. “Tension in a number of regions in the world is increasing, the conflict and crisis potential is growing, the practice of using illegitimate politically motivated sanctions and other restrictions is expanding.”

“China and Russia are against any states violating the interest of other countries for the sake of military, political or economic benefit,” Putin said.

1 hr 31 min ago

Putin says he is "in constant contact" with Xi Jinping

From CNN's Chris Liakos

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that he is “in constant contact" with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

This “enables us to find any solutions even in the most difficult situation to all problems,” Putin said, calling China a “stable trade partner.”

China is the “leading destination for import of Russian oil,” he added.

Putin also said cooperation with China in nuclear energy is increasing.

1 hr 38 min ago

Putin calls Xi Jinping a "friend" and describes all discussions in Moscow meetings as "successful" 

From CNN's Chris Liakos

Russian President Vladimir Putin kicked off his speech to reporters following two days of meetings with his Chinese counterpart by calling Xi Jinping a “friend.”

“All our talks today, and yesterday in one-to-one format, and with delegations, were successful and took place in friendly atmosphere,” Putin said. 

The two leaders moments earlier signed a joint declaration on deepening partnership.

“The two key statements we have just signed fully reflect the nature of Russian-Chinese relations, which are at their highest level of development and are an exemplary of a true comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation. Russia and China are bound by strong ties of good neighborhood, mutual assistance and support between our nations. We maintain an active bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Putin said.

1 hr 41 min ago

Putin and Xi sign joint declaration on deepening partnership

From CNN's Xiaofei Xu and Wayne Chang

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have signed a joint declaration "on key aspects of the Sino-Russian economic cooperation plan by 2030," according to Chinese state media on Tuesday.

The two leaders took part in the document signing ceremony in the Malachite Hall at the Grand Kremlin Palace

The leaders emphasized that the Ukrainian crisis should be solved through peace talks, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

1 hr 39 min ago

US will send Patriot missile systems to Ukraine faster than originally planned, defense officials say

From CNN's Natasha Bertrand

Patriot missile defense systems are set to be deployed to Ukraine faster than originally planned, and a group of 65 Ukrainian soldiers will complete their training on the systems at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in the coming days, US defense officials said on Tuesday.

The troops will then move on to Europe for additional training on the two Patriot systems—one American, and one built by the Germans and Dutch— that will be deployed to Ukraine in the coming weeks, the officials told reporters at Fort Sill.

US trainers at Fort Sill, where the 65 Ukrainians have been training since January 15, were able to significantly speed up the timeline of the course because of the Ukrainians’ baseline knowledge of air defense systems, the officials said.

The acceleration of Patriot deployments comes the same day it was reported that the US will accelerate the time it takes to ship Abrams tanks to Ukraine by sending older M1-A1 models of America's main battle tank instead of the more modern version of the tank, according to two US officials.

“Our assessment is that the Ukrainian soldiers are impressive, and absolutely a quick study,” said Brig. Gen. Shane Morgan, the Fort Sill commander. “Due to their extensive air defense knowledge and experience in a combat zone, it was easier— though never easy—for them to grasp the Patriot System Operations and Maintenance concepts.” 

The US military had allocated 10 weeks for the training, but the Ukrainians completed it in about 8 weeks. The training schedule was “aggressive,” a Fort Sill official said, with the Ukrainians training daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time.

2 hr 19 min ago

Putin: Moscow is ready to support Chinese business to replace Western companies that left Russia

From CNN's Anna Chernova

Moscow is ready to support Chinese businesses in replacing Western companies that have left Russia since it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday ahead of expanded talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

“We are ready to support Chinese business in replacing Western enterprises that left Russia,” Putin said.

Some background: Dozens of the world’s biggest companies abandoned or scaled back their operations in Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. The exodus affected every corner of the economy, from its vast energy riches through autos, finance, retail, entertainment and fast food, starving Russia of new investment and removing products and services that had become popular in the decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some high-profile exist were by Apple, Ford and BP. See the list here.

2 hr 18 min ago

Putin says he held "substantive" and "frank" discussion with Xi

From CNN's Chris Liakos

Ahead of the start of scheduled expanded negotiations with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the two leaders had “substantive” and “frank” discussions so far.

“Last night, we had a substantive conversation about the entire comprehensive agenda between our countries and the urgent international and regional problems,” Putin said in his opening statement.

“Having just met in a narrow circle we had a frank and full discussion and exchanged views on the future development of Russian-Chinese ties and the strengthening of coordination on the international scene,” he said.

Next, the two leaders are next going to have “a detailed examination of the practical aspects of our cooperation in various areas in extended meeting between our delegations,” Putin said, including a plan for the development of key areas of Russian-Chinese economic cooperation until 2030.

Additionally, Putin told Xi that Russia is “able to meet the growing demand of Chinese economy for energy resources.”

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