Xi to visit Russia for talks with Putin from March 20-22

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Russia to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin from March 20 to 22, the foreign ministry in Beijing announced on Friday.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying in a brief announcement said “at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Russia from March 20 to 22”.

This will be Xi’s first visit after getting endorsed for an unprecedented third five-year term as the President and head of the military early this month by the National People’s Congress.

Speculation is rife that Xi, 69, a close ally of Putin for the past 10 years in power, is likely to make an attempt to initiate peace talks between Russia and Ukraine to end the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

He is also expected to talk to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the phone.

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