Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the publication said the call might happen after Xi completes his trip to Moscow next week where he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, Kremlin hasn’t officially confirmed Xi’s visit to Moscow yet.
“As a rule, announcements of official foreign visits are coordinated synchronously by mutual agreement of the parties,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow.
“When there is such readiness, we will let you know.”
If Xi does visit Russia next week, it would be much earlier than expected. Earlier, the trip was touted to happen sometime around April end or May. Putin had talked about Xi’s visit last month, but no definitive date was given. China has been offering to broker peace between Moscow and Kyiv but its intentions have been met with scepticism from the West. It had even come up with a so-called “peace plan” in the form of a 12-point foreign ministry paper.
Xi last met Putin in September 2022, during a summit in central Asia.
Meanwhile, Zelensky said in his Monday night address that Ukraine’s future depended on the outcome of battles in key points in the east of the country.
“It is very tough in the east — very painful. We have to destroy the enemy’s military power. And we shall destroy it,” Zelensky said.
“Bilohorivka and Marinka, Avdiivka and Bakhmut, Vuhledar and Kamyanka — and other places where the kind of future we are to have is being decided. Where the future of all Ukrainians is being fought for.”