Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Russia for a meeting with Vladimir Putin as early as next week, Reuters claims , citing sources familiar with the matter. According to the agency, the visit was planned after China in February proposed its plan to end the war in Ukraine.
The last time Putin and Xi Jinping met was in September in Samarkand at the SCO summit. In December, Putin invited the Chinese leader to come to Moscow in the spring of 2023. In February, he received the head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi, in the Kremlin.
Earlier in March, Bloomberg, citing its own sources, wrote that Putin's schedule for September was arranged in such a way that he could attend the upcoming G20 summit in Delhi. He missed the previous two G20 summits.
In December, The Wall Street Journal reported that Xi Jinping instructed Chinese officials to significantly increase cooperation with Russia in energy and trade. According to the newspaper, the expansion of cooperation implies an increase in imports of Russian oil, gas and agricultural products, the creation of joint energy projects and investments in Russia's transport infrastructure.
In February, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that China was allegedly providing non-lethal military assistance to Russia, and was also considering the possibility of supplying lethal weapons. Soon Der Spiegel wrote that Moscow was negotiating with Beijing to buy combat drones.