Vladimir Putin has invited his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to visit Russia next spring as Moscow seeks to deepen its ties with China amid growing international isolation over the war in Ukraine. Speaking to Xi via videoconference, Putin said Russia’s relations with China are the “best in history,” expressing his wish to extend military collaboration and inviting Xi to visit Moscow.
Speaking to Xi via videoconference, Putin said Russia’s ties with China are the “best in history,” expressing his wish to extend military collaboration and inviting Xi to visit Moscow.
Without mentioning the war in Ukraine, Putin said he shared the same views with Xi “in the face of unprecedented pressure and provocations from the west.”
Ukrainian forces are currently holding their positions against Russian troops in the eastern Donbas region and making small advances in some areas, President Volodymyr Zelensky said. He added in his nightly video address that Kyiv had strengthened its anti-aircraft capability and would further strengthen it in the new year to protect itself and the entire European continent. It is not possible to verify his claims.
“Everyone wants to see if Xi has buyer’s remorse about Putin,” said Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “But today’s call indicates that Xi isn’t planning to throw Putin under the bus. The ties between the two countries will only grow next year,” Gabuev added.
This followed after Putin told Xi in an eight-minute introductory statement on state television, "We are expecting you, dear Mr. Chairman, dear friend, we are expecting you next spring on a state visit to Moscow."
The call between the two leaders came hours after Iranian-made “kamikaze” drones once again attacked Ukraine. The Ukrainian military said it had shot down all 16 drones, which it said were sent from the southeast and north.
“The enemy continues to launch massive air attacks on Ukraine’s capital city,” the Kyiv military administration said in a statement posted on the Telegram messaging platform.
Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, said there were no casualties from the overnight strikes.
The latest drone attack came at the end of a week when Russian forces launched a series of deadly bombardments of the recently liberated city of Kherson.
Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has said Vladimir Putin has not given up his plans to “control Ukraine” and warned everyone to “prepare for the long haul.” In an interview with the DPA news agency, Stoltenberg said Russia had mobilized “many new troops” and had “demonstrated a willingness to endure painful losses.” “This is not over,” the Nato chief said, adding: “We should not underestimate Russia.”
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