Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin stressed Tuesday that talks will be the means of resolving the Ukraine crisis as they met for the second day in Moscow and sought respect for the security concerns of all countries, according to Chinese media.
Russia expressed its commitment to resuming peace talks as soon as possible, China's official Xinhua News Agency said. Putin said many provisions of a Chinese proposal made last month may serve as a foundation for settling the crisis when Western nations and Kyiv are ready.
However, the Russian leader sounded pessimistic about any pause in fighting in the near future, saying Ukraine and Western nations are not ready to accept the Chinese proposal, which called for a comprehensive cease-fire but did not include calls for Moscow to withdraw troops.
The two countries also expressed opposition to unilateral sanctions imposed on Moscow by Western nations over the Ukraine crisis, according to Chinese media.
Xi and Putin, who reaffirmed last year that their bilateral friendship has "no limits," held negotiations Tuesday involving ministers and business leaders of the two countries, following a one-on-one meeting the previous day that lasted for more than four hours.
They signed two joint statements -- one on strengthening their comprehensive partnership and strategic relations and the other on a plan to develop key areas of bilateral economic cooperation through 2030, according to Chinese and Russian media.
In a position paper released on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Beijing also showed consideration for Kyiv's position, saying, "The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld."
However, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Monday that China's proposal would not be a "durable solution," saying it would only enable Putin to refit the Russian military and "then restart the war at a time more advantageous" to his country.
The Wall Street Journal has recently reported that Xi is planning to hold a virtual meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after the Chinese leader's trip to Russia.
Xi visited Russia just days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin over alleged war crimes in a show of support for the Russian leader over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier Tuesday, Xi met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and said he has invited Putin to visit China for a forum on Beijing's signature Belt and Road infrastructure initiative to be held later this year, according to Chinese and Russian media.
The Chinese leader said the invitation was made during his talks with Putin the previous day and also called for regular meetings between the Chinese premier and the Russian prime minister, sending an invitation to visit China to Mishustin as well, the reports said.
Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said Tuesday that Putin could visit China this year, Russia's Tass news agency reported.
Xi told the Russian prime minister that Beijing is ready to expand cooperation with Moscow on trade, investment, supply chains, mega projects, energy and high tech, according to Xinhua.
The Chinese leader showed willingness to promote practical cooperation between the two countries during his talks with Putin, Xinhua said.
The Russian president was eager to deepen bilateral economic cooperation through such projects as the construction of a new natural gas pipeline linking the two countries and a boost in Moscow's food exports to Beijing.
Xi vows to promote Ukraine peace talks as he meets with Putin
Blinken urges world not to be "fooled" by China-backed Russia