Putin to Meet in Person With Xi at Uzbekistan Summit

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, Russian and Chinese Presidents

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a summit in Uzbekistan next week, Russia’s envoy to Beijing Andrey Denisov has told reporters.

The expected meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit will be the first to take place in person between the two leaders since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. Prior to the invasion the two leaders had announced a “no limits” partnership between their nations.

The summit will also be the first overseas trip for Xi since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, and comes on the back of increasing political tension surrounding Taiwan. Also in the backdrop is the upcoming political summit in Beijing where Xi is expected to assume a third term in power, cementing his role as China’s most powerful leader in decades.

“This summit promises to be interesting, because it will be the first full-fledged summit since the pandemic,” Denisov said, according to Russian state news agency Tass.

“I do not want to say that online summits are not full-fledged, but still, direct communication between leaders is a different quality of discussion … We are planning a serious, full-fledged meeting of our leaders with a detailed agenda, which we are now, in fact, working on with our Chinese partners,” the diplomat said.

On Wednesday Li Zhanshu, the third highest ranking member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee, became the most senior official to leave China since 2020, visiting Vladivostok to attend the Eastern Economic Forum. Li is expected to meet Putin on Wednesday, according to Tass.