Putin to meet China’s Xi in Uzbekistan next week

Moscow, Sep 7 (EFE).- Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a summit in Uzbekistan next week – the first meeting between the two leaders since the war in Ukraine.

Russian state news agency Tass reported that Moscow’s envoy to Beijing, Andrey Denisov, told reporters on Wednesday that the two countries were preparing an agenda for the Xi-Putin meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.

“We are planning a serious, full-fledged meeting of our leaders with a detailed agenda, which we are now, in fact, working on with our Chinese partners,” Denisov said.

The first face-to-face SCO summit since the pandemic will take place on Sep.15-16 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

The organization has China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

It will be Xi’s first trip abroad since the outbreak of the pandemic and the first meeting between Putin and the Chinese president since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February this year.

Weeks before the military campaign against Ukraine, Putin traveled to Beijing, where the two leaders proclaimed a “new era” in bilateral relations.

Although Beijing has opposed Western sanctions on Moscow after it attacked Ukraine, he has also insisted that its ties with Russia are of “strategic” interests and not an “alliance.”

China and Russia have emerged as closer partners amid growing tensions with West powers.

Beijing has not condemned the Russian military aggression in Ukraine. Instead, he has repeatedly blamed NATO and the United States for the conflict.

On Wednesday, Li Zhanshu, a Communist party politburo member, became the highest-ranking official to leave China since 2020.

He arrived in the Russian city of Vladivostok to attend the Eastern Economic Forum. EFE


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