The state visit to Moscow follows a “historical logic,” Xi said at his meeting with Mishustin, according to Russian news agencies. He called China and Russia “great neighboring powers”. Xi also stated that he invited Putin to visit China.

Xi arrived in Russia on Monday for the three-day state visit. Xi’s trip to Moscow is seen as essential support for Putin, who received an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week for kidnapping Ukrainian children. On the first day of Xi’s visit, the two leaders spoke for four and a half hours.

During the meeting, Putin said he was open to talks about Ukraine. He also praised Beijing’s 12-point paper on the conflict, which calls for dialogue and respect for all countries’ territorial sovereignty.

The Ukraine conflict should also be at the center of talks between Xi and Putin on Tuesday. State television showed Xi’s arrival at the Kremlin in the afternoon, where Putin greeted him with a handshake.

The second day of Xi’s Moscow trip coincided with the arrival of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for a visit to Ukraine on Tuesday. “This historic visit is a sign of solidarity and strong cooperation,” Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Japarova wrote on Twitter. The Japanese head of government visited the city of Bucha near Kiev and planned to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy later in the day.

Kishida was the only G7 leader who had not yet visited Kyiv. That’s why he recently came under pressure, especially since the country is hosting a G7 summit in May. Japan and China are trading partners. In Tokyo, however, concerns are growing about Beijing’s presence in the region.

According to the Kremlin, several documents will also be signed during the talks between Xi and Putin, including a joint statement on deepening economic relations between China and Russia.

Since Russia has been largely excluded from European markets, it has intensified its efforts to export energy to China. Ahead of the talks between Xi and Putin, Russian energy giant Gazprom announced a new record in daily gas supplies to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline.

On Monday, China’s demand “significantly exceeded existing daily contractual obligations,” the company said. Gazprom has “delivered the requested quantities and set a new historical record for daily gas deliveries to China”.

Beijing and Moscow have already intensified their cooperation in recent years. Both share the desire to oppose the dominance of the USA. In the UN Security Council, too, Russia and China often jointly use their veto power as permanent members against projects by western countries.

China has called for “impartial” mediation in the Ukraine conflict. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also fueled fears in the West that China may one day seek control of Taiwan. Beijing sees the island as a breakaway territory.