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Russia Expects a Visit From China’s Xi Jinping in the Spring, Ministry Says

epa09726864 Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) pose for a picture during their meeting in Beijing, China, 04 February 2022. Putin arrived in China on the day of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games opening ceremony. EPA-EFE/ALEXEI DRUZHININ / KREMLIN / SPUTNIK / POOL MANDATORY CREDIT

The Russian government is anticipating a visit from Chinese leader Xi Jinping this spring, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday.

“Through joint efforts in the coming year, Russia and China will be able to strengthen and advance bilateral interstate ties,” the ministry said in a statement. “As it is known, Russian President V.V. Putin invited Chinese leader Xi Jinping to a government visit in the spring. We are proceeding with the understanding that this will be the central event for the bilateral relationship in 2023.”

The meeting, which would be the second in-person meeting between Xi and Putin since the start of the Russian war in Ukraine last February, could signal a deepening of ties between the two states. As many countries have sanctioned Russia in response to the invasion, China is one of the countries credited with keeping the Russian economy afloat by continuing to maintain trade with Russia.