BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s top diplomat Wang Yi begins a four-day trip to Russia on Monday during which both nations are expected to pledge deeper mutual political trust, preparing for a possible historic visit by the President Vladimir Putin to Beijing. in October.
Wang, who heads the Foreign Ministry and the foreign affairs office of the ruling Communist Party, will meet with Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev for annual security talks, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement. .
The veteran diplomat’s talks with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov will cover a “wide range of issues,” including “contacts at the highest and highest levels,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said last week.
Wang is expected to lay the groundwork for Putin’s visit to the Chinese capital for the third Belt and Road Forum after a invitation by President Xi Jinping during a high-profile visit to Moscow in March.
Putin attended China’s first two Belt and Road Forums in 2017 and 2019.
But he is not known to have traveled abroad since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a ruling. warrant against him for having illegally deported hundreds of children from Ukraine.
On September 1, Putin said he looked forward to meeting Xi. soonbut he did not explicitly confirm that he would travel to China again.
The order, issued just days before Xi visited Russia, forces the court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague to stand trial if he enters their territory.
However, China is not a party to the Rome Statute that led to the establishment of the ICC in 2002.
A detailed exchange of views on issues such as Ukraine will also take place during the visit, ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last week.
Wang last visited Russia in February, on the eve of the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, alarming the USAwhich then accused the two nations of sharing a vision in which “borders could be redrawn by force.”
Ahead of this week’s visit, Wang traveled to Malta for hours of “constructive” talks with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
The weekend talks were the latest in a series of high-level meetings between US and Chinese officials that could lay the groundwork for a meeting this year between Xi and US President Joe Biden.
Report by Ryan Woo; Additional reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez
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