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China’s Xi will travel to Russia next week for his first visit since Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin talks with China’s President Xi Jinping during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization leaders’ summit September 16, 2022 in Samarkand.

Sergei Bobylev | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Russia on March 20-22, China’s Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

This is Xi’s first visit to Russia since invading Ukraine in late February last year.

The two heads of state and government last met in September in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

The ministry said the visit was at the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was not specified whether Putin will meet with Xi.

The two leaders are expected to discuss further Sino-Russian cooperation, the Kremlin said in a statement, adding that “key bilateral documents will be signed,” without elaborating.

The visit comes as China has again called for a ceasefire in the Russo-Ukrainian war and peace talks to resolve the conflict that began just over a year ago.

Beijing has refused to call Moscow’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine an invasion.

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