By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Chinese President Xi Jinping up on landing in Russia started fuming against the United States accusing it of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, Xi also commended whom he described as old friend Vladimir Putin, saying, “I know that next year your country is holding a presidential election. Thanks to your strong governance in recent years, Russia has achieved many successes. I am sure that the Russian people will support you.”
Xi comments were immediately echoed throughout Russian media, setting the tone for the summit between the two presidents. Xi’s state visit is above all a relegitimization and a breath of fresh air for Putin on the international scene.
It’s a precious show of support for the Russian president, coming three days after his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes. Targeted with an international arrest warrant for the “illegal deportation” of Ukrainian children, the head of the Kremlin will now be taking a big risk if he travels to one of the 123 countries that recognize the ICC. There is zero risk, on the other hand, with China: Xi has invited his alter ego over “this year,” according to Russian media.
One year after the start of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has thus become more dependent than ever on China, both diplomatically and economically. If Beijing is now Moscow’s first commercial partner, the latter is now only China’s eleventh partner. Putin has indirectly recognized Russia’s inferiority. Amidst the mutual praise, he confided that he was “a little envious” of the efficiency of China’s “leap forward,” of the system put in place “to develop its economy and strengthen the state.”
A working dinner followed Monday evening’s talks and, in a rare move, Putin himself escorted Xi back to his car, a Chinese Hongqi (“red flag”) devoid of license plates.
On Tuesday, the more formal talks continued in an expanded format for delegations. A series of agreements were also signed between the two sides, with Ukraine becoming one of the main topics discussed by the two leaders.
In his televised comments, Putin said he had “respect” for China’s proposals to resolve the conflict and said he was “open” to negotiations. “I know that you have a fair and balanced position on the most pressing international issues,” he added. Xi, who did not fail to praise the “close relations” between Beijing and Moscow, promised to “continue to play a constructive role” to resolve what he has never called a war, but “a crisis,” in Ukraine.