Vladimir Putin to meet top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi ahead of Ukraine war anniversary

Vladimir Putin is going to receive top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi in Moscow on Wednesday, two days before Ukraine marks a year of siege by Moscow, officials in the Kremlin confirmed.

The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the Russian president will receive Wang Yi who is visiting Moscow on a high-level diplomatic mission on behalf of the Xi Jinping administration.

Mr Wang reached Moscow on Tuesday, marking the highest-level Chinese official’s visit to ally-nation Russia after it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

On Wednesday, he met Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and said that he looked forward to sealing new agreements during his visit to Russia.

The two sides also “exchanged views over Ukraine and other issues”, reported Xinhua news agency.

"I am ready to exchange views with you, my dear friend, on issues of mutual interest, and I look forward to reaching new agreements," Mr Wang said.

He also told the Russian security council secretary that the relations between Moscow and Beijing “are mature and solid as a rock and will withstand the test of the changing international situation”.

"No matter how the international situation changes, China has been and remains committed, together with Russia, to make efforts to preserve the positive trend in the development of relations between major powers," the top Chinese diplomat, who is also the director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, said.

Mr Wang said he would work to “strengthen and deepen” the Sino-Russian relations but did not share more details on what agreements the two nations could sign during the significant visit.

He and the Russian defence minister held “discussions over the current international strategic situation”.

The duo “expressed willingness to practise genuine multilateralism, oppose all forms of unilateral bullying, and promote the democratisation of international relations and multi-polarisation of the world”, reported Chinese news agency Xinhua.

The two leaders also agreed to oppose the Cold War mentality, bloc and ideological confrontation to ensure peace and safety in the Asia-Pacific.

Mr Wang’s visit to Russia comes just two days after he met the Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba and said that Beijing does not wish to see any escalation in the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv.

“China has always stood on the side of peace and dialogue, and has always insisted on urging peace and promoting talks,” the Chinese diplomat said.