The Kremlin has confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will discuss the Ukraine war and other “current international problems” at this week’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
In a statement on Tuesday, Kremlin foreign policy spokesman Yury Ushakov said: “Bearing in mind the specifics of the current international situation, this meeting, naturally, has a special importance… The leaders are planned to discuss both the bilateral agenda and key regional and international topics.”
According to Ushakov, the meeting between Xi and Putin is a “long-awaited personal contact”, the second one over the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports TASS News Agency.
The first personal meeting between the two leaders took place in Beijing, when Putin attended the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in February this year.
The spokesman anticipated that Putin and Xi “will give a positive assessment to the unprecedented high level of the trust-based bilateral strategic partnership” between Russia and China.
Also in the agenda are SCO’s activities and its role in international affairs and among bilateral topics, Ushakov cited the development of trade and economic cooperation.
“In the current difficult situation, amid the Western sanctions, this cooperation is demonstrating sustainability and continues to develop and gain momentum,” TASS News Agency quoted Ushakov as saying.
On the sidelines of the summit, which will run from Thursday to Friday, Putin is also scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
According to Ushakov, Putin and Modi will discuss Russian-Indian cooperation within the UN and G20.
“A conversation on international agenda with Modi will also take place, the sides will discuss issues of strategic stability, the situation in the Asia Pacific Region, and, of course, cooperation within major multilateral formats, such as the UN, the G20 and the SCO,” the spokesman said.
“This is particularly important, because India will preside in the UN Security Council in December, and, in 2023, India will lead the SCO and will also chair the G20.”
The SCO Summit will be Xi’s first foreign visit after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.
Last time he left China was in January 2020 when he visited Myanmar, just days before the first lockdown came into effect in Wuhan, the BBC reported.
He has remained in China since then, leaving the mainland only once in July this year to visit Hong Kong.