We can discuss Xi’s plan when West is ready: Putin - GulfToday

We can discuss Xi’s plan when West is ready: Putin


Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photo during a signing ceremony following their talks at The Grand Kremlin Palace, in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday. AP

Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made a surprise visit on Tuesday to Kyiv, stealing some of the global attention from Asian rival President Xi Jinping of China, who met in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Beijing’s peace proposal for Ukraine that Western nations have already criticised.

The two visits, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) apart, highlighted the nearly 13-month-old war’s repercussions for international diplomacy as countries line up behind Moscow or Kyiv. They follow a week in which China and Japan both enjoyed diplomatic successes that have emboldened their foreign policy.


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After talks with Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin said a Chinese peace plan could provide a basis for a settlement of the fighting in Ukraine when the West is ready for it, but he added that Kyiv’s Western allies have shown no interest in that.

US officials have said any peace plan coming from the Putin-Xi meeting would be unacceptable to Washington because it would only ratify Moscow’s territorial conquests and give Russia time to plan for a renewed offensive.

“It looks like the West indeed intends to fight Russia until the last Ukrainian,” Putin said, pointing out a British plan to provide Ukraine with tank rounds containing depleted uranium. “If that happens, Russia will respond accordingly, given that the collective West is starting to use weapons with a nuclear component.”

Volodymyr Zelensky (right) and Fumio Kishida shake hands as they meet in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday. Reuters

He did not elaborate. Putin has occasionally warned that Russia would use all available means, including possibly nuclear weapons, to defend itself, but also has sometimes backed off such threats.

Beijing insists it is a neutral broker in Ukraine peace efforts, and Xi repeated after his talks with Putin that China favours “peace and dialogue” to resolve disputes.

“We adhere to a principled and objective position on the Ukrainian crisis based on the goals and principles of the UN Charter,” Xi said, adding the Chinese plan seeks to “actively encourage peace and the resumption of talks.”

Speaking after the talks, Putin said that the joint declarations issued by Russia and China “fully reflect a special character of the Russia-China relations, which are at their highest level in history and serve as an example of a true comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation.”

Vladimir Putin (right) and Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony following their talks in Moscow, Russia. AP

Japan’s Fumio Kishida met President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv during a rare, unannounced visit by a Japanese leader that underscored Tokyo’s emphatic support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion.

The Japanese prime minister had been the only leader of the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations who had not visited Ukraine, which has seen an outpouring of popular support in Japan following the Russian invasion more than a year ago.

Zelensky posted footage of him greeting Kishida, whom the Ukrainian leader called “a truly powerful defender of the international order and a longtime friend of Ukraine”, in central Kyiv.

Zelensky said he would join an upcoming G7 summit in Japan via an online link following an invitation from Kishida.

He made the remark during a joint briefing in Kyiv with Kishida.

Japan is due to host the summit in Kishida’s hometown of Hiroshima in May.

Kishida visited a church in Bucha, a town outside Kyiv that became a symbol of Russian atrocities against civilians, and laid flowers at a church there for the victims.

“Upon this visit to Bucha, I feel a strong resentment against cruelty,” he said. “I would like to represent the people in Japan, and express my deepest condolences to those who lost their loved ones, were injured as a result of this cruel act.”

US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel tweeted about the “two very different European-Pacific partnerships” that unfolded Tuesday.

“Kishida stands with freedom, and Xi stands with a war criminal,” Emanuel said, referring to last week’s decision by the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Putin, saying it wanted to put him on trial for the abductions of thousands of children from Ukraine.

Kyiv’s allies are pledging more support. Washington is accelerating its delivery of Abrams tanks to Ukraine, sending a refurbished older version that can be ready faster, US officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The aim is to get the 70-ton behemoths to the war zone in eight-to-10 months, the officials said on the condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been announced.

Associated Press



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