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Xi talks with Putin over phone: No direct mention of Ukraine

File Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) is greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping before the opening ceremony at the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai

Chinese President Xi Jinping this afternoon (Wednesday) held a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, Xinhua reported a few minutes ago.

It was Xi’s second phone call with Putin since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, where he reiterated support for Russia’s security concerns, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The report of the conversation, which took place on Xi’s 69th birthday, largely repeated China’s prior comments on Russia including a call for Putin and other nations to work toward a solution to Ukraine’s crisis.

“China is willing to continue mutual support with Russia on issues related to sovereignty, security and issues of major concern,” Xi said, according to the CCTV report.

According to Xinhua, during their conversation, Xi noted that since the beginning of this year, bilateral relations have maintained a sound development momentum in the face of global turbulence and transformations.
The economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has made steady progress, Xi said, adding that the Heihe-Blagoveshchensk cross-border highway bridge has opened to traffic, creating a new channel connecting the two countries.
The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Russian side to push for steady and long-term development of practical bilateral cooperation, Xi said.
China is willing to work with Russia to continue supporting each other on their respective core interests concerning sovereignty and security, as well as on their major concerns, deepening their strategic coordination, and strengthening communication and coordination in such important international and regional organizations as the United Nations, the BRICS mechanism and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Xi said.
China is also willing to work with Russia to promote solidarity and cooperation among emerging market countries and developing nations, and push for the development of the international order and global governance towards a more just and reasonable direction, he added.
According to this first Xinhua account of the phone meeting, there was no mention of the conflict with Ukraine.

(Developing story)

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