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Putin discusses 'some issues of particularly confidential nature' with Xi, both vows to boost defence ties

After the meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the conversation held at Beijing's Great Hall of the People was a very productive and substantial part of the conversation. However, he did not elaborate further citing "confidential".

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Beijing Published on: October 19, 2023 13:15 IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Image Source : AP Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said he had a lengthy and productive discussion with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on "some issues of a particularly confidential nature" as the two leaders vowed to step up their comprehensive strategic coordination and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Putin and Xi met after the opening ceremony of the third Belt and Road Forum (BRF), which is being held here. Putin was the chief guest of the event hosted by Xi. "We had a business lunch in limited attendance, where the Minister of Foreign Affairs was present, aides were present on both sides - and then Chairman Xi offered to talk in private,” Putin was quoted as saying by Russia's official Tass news agency.

“We had a tete-a-tete conversation, indeed, as you can imagine, having a cup of tea. We spoke for about an hour and a half or maybe two hours, and we discussed some issues of particularly confidential nature in private,” Putin, who has rarely left Russia since invading Ukraine in February last year, said without disclosing the topics discussed with Xi.

According to Putin, the meeting held at Beijing's Great Hall of the People was a very productive and substantial part of the conversation. This is the second meeting between Putin and Xi this year. Earlier in March, the Chinese leader paid a state visit to Russia. Previously, Putin visited China in February of 2022 to take part in the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

China's BRI conclave 

In his remarks, Chinese President Xi noted that Putin has attended the BRF three times in a row, demonstrating Russia's support for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Lauding Russia as an important partner as China pursues international Belt and Road cooperation, Xi said the operation of major infrastructure projects such as the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline has brought tangible benefits to the people of both countries.

It is not an expediency, but a long-term policy to develop the China-Russia relations featuring permanent good-neighbourly friendship, comprehensive strategic coordination and mutually beneficial cooperation, Xi was quoted as saying by China's official Xinhua news agency.

China supports the Russian people in pursuing the path of national rejuvenation independently and safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, he said. China has come under criticism from the West for standing by Russia, even as it has also tried to show support for Ukraine. President Xi also said the two neighbouring countries should promote high-quality development of China-Russia practical cooperation and actively explore cooperation in strategic emerging industries.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Putin meets his 'dear friend' Xi in China, urges economic and diplomatic support for Russia

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