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Russia drops hint of possible Putin-Xi meeting

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NEW DELHI: Russian President Vladimir Putin may meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the Kremlin dropped a hint but gave no timeframe regarding his visit to Beijing.

Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, responding to a question on the Russian president’s possible visit to China, casually dropped a hint, saying, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Beijing could be seen as preparation for “upcoming contacts at the highest level.”

“Indeed, such contacts are planned and there is an understanding of their expediency and necessity, given the high level of friendly relations between the Russian Federation and China,” Peskov told reporters.

“But we still consider it premature to specify any time frames. We will inform you about everything as soon as we are ready.”

Currently, Lavrov is in China and met China’s President Jinping and his counterpart Wang Yi.

During the meeting between foreign ministers, Russia and China agreed to start a dialogue on Eurasian security with the aim of “double counteracting” the European-Atlantic alliance led by the US.

“We have a common goal of increasing security in Eurasia,” Lavrov said Tuesday at a press conference with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing.

“We agreed with our Chinese friends to start a dialogue and get other like-minded countries to join us.”

Lavrov added that Wang proposed the idea of “double counteracting” the US and its allies in response to the “double deterrence” of Western countries against Russia and China.

Lavrov also said Russia and China confirmed there is no prospect of holding meetings to settle the conflict with Ukraine when Russia’s positions are ignored, a reference to a planned June peace conference in Switzerland backed by Kyiv. Ukraine’s allies see China’s presence at such a conference as important for making the initiative successful.

(With inputs from agencies)

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