(PresidentialHill.com)- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Chinese President Xi Jinping this last week after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of war crimes in Ukraine, according to Newsweek. The meeting was closely watched and scrutinized by the West who are looking to see if Chinese weapons appear on the battlefield in Ukraine.
While the tone of each leader notably treaded carefully amid the geopolitical scrutiny, they both reaffirmed their friendship. Xi has met with Putin 40 times since 2010, which is more than he has visited with any other head of state, the outlet reports. To maintain an air of neutrality, China has reportedly accepted a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk calls an “important move.”
The last time the two have spoken was just after the conflict broke out over a year ago. The meeting has not yet been scheduled but sources say it will be virtual.
Putin described Xi as his “good, old friend,” and reiterated that they have transcended the Sino-Soviet ties and now enjoy a partnership without taboo. He said that they with trust and then he backhanded the West by calling them “collective,” clearly delineating the partnerships that exist between the nations.
Xi did not repeat that China and Russia enjoyed such a limitless partnership as he kept up the ruse of neutrality, but he called his visit a “journey of friendship.” For his part, Xi did not specifically call out the West or the United States but said that they were engaging in dangerous acts of domination.
The visit comes as Ukraine is alleging that those within Putin’s inner circle are looking to replace him as the war wearies the country. Ukraine’s military directorate, Andriy Yusov reportedly said that the decision to topple leadership is a result of Russia’s bleak future in the war.