Putin open to diplomatic settlement in Ukraine, hails China role
Russia welcomes the Chinese initiative aimed at resolving the war in Ukraine, President Putin said in an article he had written for the Chinese Communist Party’s official paper People’s Daily.
Russia welcomes the Chinese initiative aimed at resolving the war in Ukraine, President Putin said in an article he wrote for the Chinese Communist Party’s official paper People’s Daily.
"We appreciate the well-balanced stance on the events in Ukraine adopted by the PRC [People's Republic of China], as well as its understanding of their historical background and root causes. We welcome China's readiness to make a meaningful contribution to the settlement of the crisis," Putin said.
China released a 12-point document titled "China's Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis" in late February emphasizing Beijing’s respect for the sovereignty of all countries, calling for the cessation of hostilities and resuming negotiations between Moscow and Kiev.
"Russia is open to the political and diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine crisis… The future of the peace process depends solely on the will to engage in a meaningful discussion taking into account current geopolitical realities," he explained.
The article was published prior to the scheduled three-day visit by President Xi to Moscow on Monday.
President Vladimir Putin commended the Sino-Russian friendship which he anticipated will only grow stronger over time, remarking that the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping will only contribute to that.
"I am convinced that our friendship and partnership based on the strategic choice of the peoples of the two countries will further grow and gain strength for the well-being and prosperity of Russia and China. This visit of the President of the PRC to Russia will undoubtedly contribute to that," Putin wrote.
In the same piece, Putin said trade between the two countries has doubled in 2022, reaching a record of $185 billion.
"Our priorities include trade and economic partnership. In 2022, our bilateral trade, which had already been considerable before [sic], doubled to reach USD 185 billion. This is a new record," Putin wrote.
He added that the two countries were on track to reach a trade target of $200 billion this year.
"What is more, we have every reason to believe that the USD 200 billion target, which was set by President Xi Jinping and myself, will be exceeded as early as this year instead of 2024," he projected.
Furthermore, Putin elaborated that bilateral cooperation in the field of energy has successfully developed since the construction of the Siberia gas pipeline, which became the “deal of the century” that prompted a rise in oil and gas exports from Russia to China.
"Long-term joint plans and programs [between Russia and China] are being successfully implemented. It will be no exaggeration to say that the Power of Siberia Russian-Chinese gas pipeline has become the ”deal of the century“ for its scale. The supplies of Russian oil and coal have increased significantly," Putin wrote.