Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will discuss Ukraine on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand. This was announced on Tuesday, September 13, by the assistant to the head of state, Yuri Ushakov.
“China approaches the Ukrainian crisis in a balanced way, clearly expresses its understanding of the reasons that forced Russia to launch a special military operation, and this issue, of course, will be discussed in detail during the upcoming contact,” he said.
The presidential aide added that the leaders will also touch upon topics related to the activities of the SCO and the enhancement of the organization’s role in international affairs. In addition, they plan to discuss the countries’ strategic partnership, which, according to Ushakov, is at an unprecedented high level today.
According to Chinese experts interviewed by Izvestiya on September 9, Xi Jinping’s decision to travel abroad for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic on the eve of the most important domestic political event – the 20th Congress of the Communist Party – indicates the Chinese leader’s confidence that, in order to decide on his re-election for a third term there are no obstacles.
On September 8, the German newspaper Handelsblatt wrote that the upcoming meeting has a symbolic meaning and will be a definite signal to the Western world. The publication notes that Xi Jinping has not left China for more than two years, and the fact that his first trip abroad is to meet Putin is seen as a sign of Russia’s support.
On September 3, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at a meeting with Russian Ambassador to Beijing Andrei Denisov, noted that China and Russia have become more aware of the need for mutual support against the backdrop of changes in international relations.