Chinese leader Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow on Monday for a two-day visit and talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Xi’s first visit since Russia invaded Ukraine.
The visit comes as Putin faces pressure from economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its Western allies – and reports that Russia’s military could be running low on ammunition to wage its war. But Western officials have expressed concern that Putin could ask Xi to supply Russia with heavy weapons.
Beijing has described the trip as one of “friendship and peace,” and the Kremlin has said the two leaders will discuss a “comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation.” China has refused to condemn Moscow’s aggression and sought to project itself as neutral in the conflict. Beijing portrays itself as a peacemaker, citing Xi’s recent success in brokering talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia that resulted in restored diplomatic ties between the longtime adversaries. On Ukraine, China last month called for a cease-fire and peace talks, a plan praised by Moscow but rejected by Kyiv.
“The formula for the successful implementation of China’s “Peace Plan” … is the capitulation or withdrawal of the Russian occupation troops from territory in accordance with the norms of international law and the UN Charter,” Oleksiy Danilov, Ukraine’s national security chief, tweeted Monday.
The trip also comes days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin, alleging war crimes allegations in Ukraine. Neither Russia, China nor the U.S. are members of the ICC, a Netherlands-based court that claims universal jurisdiction for war-related crimes.
CHINA GROWS CLOSER TO RUSSIA:China President Xi to visit Russia in apparent show of support for Putin amid Ukraine war
►The Investigative Committee of Russia opened a criminal case against the ICC’s top prosecutor and several judges, saying the arrest warrants issued by the ICC for Putin and children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova were illegal.
►Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court ruled Monday in favor of confiscation of the 66.6% of the Kyiv mall Ocean Plaza that belonged to four Russian oligarchs.
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The International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Putin will have “monstrous consequences” for international law, a top Russian official warned Monday. Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Russia’s Security Council and a former president, said the ICC has destroyed its credibility by failing to prosecute the purported U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“A gloomy sunset of the entire system of international relations is coming, trust is exhausted,” Medvedev wrote on his messaging app channel.
He described the court as a “pathetic international organization,” musing that a Russian missile could strike the court and said ICC judges shouldn’t have taken action against a major nuclear power since “everyone is answerable to God and missiles.”
Contributing: The Associated Press