In the morning of March 22, Chinese President Xi Jinping completed his visit to Russia. The entire Western world was following every piece of news about Xi's visit to Moscow. The Chinese president held a number of meetings with high-ranking Russian officials, including President Putin.
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin signed a number of documents to expand cooperation in various fields: from trade and industry to science and the military sphere. They also talked about the prospects for peace in Ukraine.
As the Russian President noted after many hours of negotiations in the Faceted Chamber of the Kremlin, the meeting came as an example of how world powers, permanent members of the UN Security Council should interact having a special responsibility for maintaining stability and security on the planet.
Putin later told reporters that the relations between China and Russia were at the highest level in history. The two countries give first priority to trade and economic cooperation, he added.
Economy and trade
The volume of trade between China and Russia reached a record level last year. It went up by 30 percent largely thanks to Western attempts to impose embargoes and sanctions against Russia.
Economists predict that Russia-China bilateral trade will exceed $200 billion in 2023, with two-thirds of that amount denominated in yuan and rubles as both countries move away from the dollar peg.
Putin and Xi talked about scaling up trade, logistics development and cross-border infrastructure, expanding agricultural cooperation to ensure food security for both countries, and improving cooperation in the exchange of energy, minerals, metals and chemical products.
China and Russia pledged to expand cooperation in technology, information technology and artificial intelligence.
"By combining our rich scientific potential and manufacturing capabilities, Russia and China can become world leaders in information technology, network security and artificial intelligence,” Putin told reporters.
New military partnership
According to Putin, the relationship between Russia and China differs from military and political alliances that developed during the Cold War. They "exceed this form of interstate cooperation and are not confrontational" in nature, the Russian president said.
Moscow and Beijing agreed to "regularly conduct joint exercises and air patrols”, develop military exchange and cooperation using all available bilateral mechanisms to increase mutual trust between their armed forces.
"Strengthening relations with Russia is a strategic choice that China has made based on its own fundamental interests and the prevailing trends in the world,” Xi Jinping said. According to the Chinese president, the two countries "share their commitment to building a multipolar world.”
Peace plan for Ukraine
The Russian President praised the "peace road map" that China proposed in February. Many of its elements "can be taken as the basis for a peaceful settlement when the West and Kiev are ready for it," he noted.
However, neither Ukraine nor its supporters in the West are currently ready to discuss peace, Putin pointed out. US officials opposed any ceasefire in Ukraine, even though they earlier said that Washington would support any of Kiev's decisions.
"We are always for peace and dialogue, and we stand firmly on the right side of history,” Xi said.
During the three days of Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow, a total of 14 statements, protocols, memorandums and agreements were signed.
What Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping also said:
Negotiations with Russia are possible if Moscow changes the goals of the special operation, the head of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry Oleksiy Reznikov said