Xi Jinping to hold official talks with Putin and meet with Mishustin

21 March 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold official talks at the Grand Kremlin Palace on Tuesday. On the second, the main day of the Chinese leader's state visit to Moscow, the leaders of the two countries have a full program of work.

As stipulated in the protocol on state visits, the meeting between Putin and Xi Jinping will begin with the delegation introduction ceremony. This will be followed by two rounds of talks, the signing of documents, statements by the leaders to the press and a state dinner. The Chinese president is also scheduled to speak with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin before the meeting in the Kremlin.

Participants of the meetings

According to Yury Ushakov, an aide to the Russian president, "a large representation is planned at the talks in view of the importance of the visit. So, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko, Head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, Director of the Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugaev, Roscosmos Director General Yuri Borisov and Ushakov are expected to participate in the talks in a narrow format on the Russian side.


Medvedev, Lavrov, Chernyshenko, and five other deputy prime ministers - First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, Deputy Prime Ministers Tatiana Golikova, Alexander Novak, Yuri Trutnev, and Denis Manturov, and Deputy Head of the Russian Presidential Administration - Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, Presidential aide Maxim Oreshkin, Shoigu, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov, Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Nabiullina, Shugaev, Borisov, and Rosatom CEO Alexei Likhachev were also invited to the extended format talks.


Executives of major Russian companies are not participating in the talks, but are invited to a state dinner. "The Chinese delegation consists mainly of government officials, it does not include business representatives, so we will keep a certain parity," Ushakov explained.

According to him, the participants' composition gives an idea of what topics will be touched upon during the negotiations.

Key topics

The Kremlin expects that among the issues of bilateral relations between Moscow and Beijing, the leaders will discuss energy, military-technical cooperation and trade and economic interaction. Ushakov predicted that "the energy component will be discussed in detail." Putin himself, in his article "Russia and China - a partnership focused on the future" for Renmin Jibao, called the Power of Siberia gas pipeline "the deal of the century" and stressed that Russia and China, "unlike some countries that claim hegemony and bring discord to world harmony <...> in the literal and figurative sense, are building bridges".

China is Russia's largest trading partner, the volume of trade in 2022 amounted to about $185 billion, its annual increase over the previous two years - about 30%, the share of settlements in national currencies is increasing. The Kremlin expects that the goal of reaching $200 billion trade turnover set by the two leaders will be realized not in 2024, as planned, but in 2023.

Among the international topics of talks, Ushakov singled out Ukraine, assuring that Moscow appreciates the Chinese leadership's restrained, verified position on this issue and is aware of the Chinese settlement plan. Putin and Xi Jinping had already touched on this issue in a one-on-one conversation on March 20.

Final documents

It is expected that the Russian and Chinese presidents will sign two joint statements at the end of the talks - on deepening relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation entering a new era, and on the development plan for key areas of Russian-Chinese economic cooperation until 2030.

In total, more than 10 documents on the development of cooperation between the two countries in various fields are to be signed following the visit.


Special relations and special visit


According to diplomatic protocol, state status is the highest in the gradation of foreign visits and is not often used. Usually such visits imply that in addition to business negotiations, there are several additional protocol events and meetings. However, as Ushakov explained, Xi Jinping's visit to Russia this time has state status in order to emphasize its importance, but in essence it will be exclusively business, without "protocol stuff." Russia is the first country that Xi Jinping will visit after his re-election as President of China. In 2010, when Xi Jinping took office for the first time, he paid his first state visit to Russia. Since then, the leaders have met about 40 times.

At their meeting in the Kremlin on March 20, Putin and Xi Jinping emphatically addressed each other "dear friend" from the beginning. The Chinese leader, whose article appeared the day before in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, noted that the PRC and Russia adhere to the concept of "eternal friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation," and the mutual support of the parties in the pandemic was "further evidence of how friends know each other in trouble."

The Russian leader noted the impressive progress of bilateral relations, which have reached their highest level in their history and continue to strengthen: "They are of a quality superior to the military-political alliances of the Cold War, they do not have a leader and a follower, there are no constraints or prohibited topics. According to the Russian president, relations between Moscow and Beijing are now the cornerstone of global stability, "the guarantor of a positive agenda in international affairs."

Both Moscow and Beijing stressed that they hope to approve new plans for the development of Russia-China relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction based on the results of the visit.

According to TASS, the Chinese leader and his delegation stayed at the Soluxe Hotel Moscow near the Botanichesky Sad metro station in northeastern Moscow. The hotel is part of a new business center, with a large Chinese-style park on its territory. Ushakov reported that during the visit an exchange of gifts is planned.



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Photo: official website of the President of the Russian Federation

Based on materials from TASS