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China’s top diplomat expects new agreements with Russia during Moscow visit

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday that he looked forward to clinching new agreements during his visit to Moscow.

“I am ready to exchange views with you, my dear friend, on issues of mutual interest, and I look forward to reaching new agreements,” Wang said through an interpreter.

Wang said he would work to “strengthen and deepen” relations between Moscow and Beijing. He provided no specific details on what agreements could be reached.

Wang is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, the Kremlin said, after the United States warned Beijing against providing material support to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Chinese weapons supplies to Russia would risk a potential escalation of the Ukraine war into a confrontation between Russia and China on the one side and Ukraine and the U.S.-led NATO military alliance on the other.

Xi Jinping to visit Moscow

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is preparing to visit Moscow for a summit with Russia’s dictator in the coming months, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Beijing says it wants to play a more active role aimed at ending the conflict, and the people familiar with Xi’s trip plans said a meeting with Putin would be part of a push for multiparty peace talks and allow China to reiterate its calls that nuclear weapons not be used.

Western capitals have expressed skepticism about China’s diplomatic initiative, the broad outlines of which were first previewed last week by the country’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, at the Munich Security Conference.

Peace speech

Italy’s foreign minister revealed last week that China’s President Xi Jinping will deliver a “peace speech” on the one-year mark of the invasion of Ukraine, apparently continuing Beijing’s line of urging peace while avoiding condemnation of its ally Russia.

Italian FM, Antonio Tajani told RAI Radio 1 that he used a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Rome last week to urge Beijing to use all its powers to persuade Russia to end the war while ensuring Ukraine’s independence.

“He told me that Xi will deliver a peace speech on the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine,” Tajani said.

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