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Putin Hails China's 'Genuine Desire' to Help Resolve Ukraine War

Vladimir Putin. Grigory Sysoyev / RIA Novosti / kremlin.ru

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed Beijing's "genuine desire" to help resolve the Ukraine war, in an interview with Chinese state media published Wednesday ahead of his two-day visit to the country.

Putin arrives in Beijing on Thursday to meet his "dear friend" Xi Jinping, seeking to win greater support from China for his war effort in Ukraine and isolated economy.

The visit, which will also see him travel to the northeastern city of Harbin for a trade and investment expo, is Putin's first trip abroad since his March re-election and his second in just over six months to China.

"We commend China's approaches to resolving the crisis in Ukraine," Putin told the Xinhua state news agency in an interview in Moscow, which was also carried in English on the Kremlin website.

"Beijing is well aware of its root causes and global geopolitical significance," Putin said, referring to a 12-point position paper published by China in February 2023 on reaching a political settlement to the conflict.

"The ideas and proposals contained in the document show the genuine desire of our Chinese friends to help stabilize the situation," he added.

Days before Russia launched its full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, Beijing and Moscow declared a "no limits" partnership and have since boosted trade to record highs.

Moscow has looked to China as a crucial economic lifeline since the West hit Russia with unprecedented sanctions over its military offensive.

China has meanwhile benefited from cheap Russian energy imports and access to vast natural resources, including steady gas shipments via the Power of Siberia pipeline.

But their close economic partnership has come under scrutiny in the West, with the United States threatening to sanction overseas banks and companies that work with Moscow.

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