Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to Moscow next week, where he will hold talks with his strategic ally Vladimir Putin just over a year into Russia's military operation in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping willvsign an agreement next week ushering in a "new era" of ties and discuss Ukraine, a Kremlin official has said.
"The leaders will sign... a joint statement on strengthening comprehensive partnership and strategic relations entering a new era," Putin's top foreign policy advisor Yuri Ushakov said in comments carried by Russian news agencies.
According to Ushakov, Putin and Xi will also sign a joint declaration on Russian-Chinese economic cooperation until 2030, adding that there are about a dozen other documents in the pipeline.
The two leaders will both pen articles on bilateral ties that will be published on Monday in a Russian and Chinese newspaper, "an important signal on the eve of the actual talks", Ushakov said.
Putin and Xi will on Monday have a one-on-one "informal" meeting and dinner before negotiations on Tuesday, Ushakov said.
China's foreign ministry called Xi's trip "a visit for peace" that aimed to "practice true multilateralism... improve global governance and make contributions to the development and progress of the world".
The two leaders would exchange views on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference.
The Kremlin said the two presidents would speak about "strategic cooperation" and "discuss deepening the exhaustive partnership and strategic cooperation between Russia and China".
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China's major role
Xi's visit comes just over a year after Russia began attacking Ukraine, kicking off a war that has isolated Moscow on the international stage.
China, a major Russian ally, has sought to position itself as a neutral party in the conflict, urging Moscow and Kiev to resolve it through negotiations.
In a 12-point position paper on the war last month, China called for dialogue and respect for all countries' territorial sovereignty.
But Western leaders have repeatedly criticised Beijing for failing to condemn Russia, accusing it of providing Moscow with diplomatic cover for its war.
READ MORE: Can China broker peace between Russia and Ukraine?
The United States has accused China of mulling arms shipments to support Russia's war — claims Beijing has strongly denied.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in February he was planning to meet Xi after Beijing called for talks.
The Chinese foreign ministry did not confirm on Friday whether he planned to do so. However, the two nations' foreign ministers held a phone call on Thursday, the first since China's Qin Gang took office.
Qin urged Kiev and Moscow to restart peace talks "as soon as possible", adding that "China is concerned that the crisis could escalate and get out of control", according to an official readout.
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