Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping to meet TODAY as leaders could shape brewing ‘cold war’

Boris Johnson shakes his head at question about Vladimir Putin

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are all set to meet in Beijing on Friday, ahead of the opening of the Winter Olympics. The meeting between the two top global leaders will be closely monitored by the experts as a “cold war” brews between the US and China.

As the distance between Moscow and the US grows, the two top global leaders of the East are inching closer.

With the rumours of Russia invading Ukraine making the rounds, Beijing last week publicly backed Moscow’s “security concerns” regarding NATO.

In a statement released by Beijing on Thursday, China stated Russia and their own foreign ministers had discussed their positions on regional issues of common concern, including Ukraine, Afghanistan and the Korean peninsula.

David Shullman, senior director of the Global China Hub at the Atlantic Council, said of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping: “This will be their 38th [meeting] since 2013, [and] is uniquely significant because of the foreign policy challenges each leader is facing at the moment.

“Putin appreciates Chinese public expressions of support for Russia’s position on Ukraine that demonstrate the Kremlin is not isolated internationally.

“For China, Putin’s visit is an important demonstration of support at a time when the US, UK, and other countries are undertaking a diplomatic boycott of the Games.”

While Russia has denied all speculations of its plan to invade Ukraine, the leaders from US, UK have been issuing warnings to Putin, thus extending their support to Ukraine.

According to the reports, the meeting between Russia and China will be closely observed in Washington as well as other major western capitals.

The report claimed that according to analysts, the issue of Ukraine will loom large.

However, this is not the first time that Putin and Xi have come together in each other’s defiance.

In 2014, in a show of defiance against fierce western criticism over the annexation of Crimea, Putin turned to Xi to look for an alternative.

The summit will mark Putin’s third trip abroad since the outbreak of coronavirus in late 2019.

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Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said that the two leaders are expected to hold talks on the morning of 4 February and then have a private lunch that “will help them have a maximally open discussion about the most important international and bilateral issues”.

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