China's Xi To Hold Talks With Zelensky After Meeting Putin• https://www.zerohedge.com, by Tyler Durden
The talk is expected to happen after Xi first meets with President Putin in Moscow.
"Chinese leader Xi Jinping plans to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time since the start of the Ukraine war, likely after he visits Moscow next week to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to people familiar with the matter," WSJ reports Monday.
"The meetings with Messrs. Putin and Zelensky, the latter of which is expected to take place virtually, reflect Beijing's effort to play a more active role in mediating an end to the war in Ukraine, some of the people said."
All of this suggests that Beijing's role as an influential mediator, at a moment Washington has remained resistant to seriously pursuing peace in Ukraine, is gaining traction in both Moscow and Kiev.
The closely watched and controversial plans of Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit President Vladimir Putin in Russia is taking shape quickly, with Reuters reporting Monday it will happen next week, citing unnamed sources.
If accurate, this will be a much earlier timetable than previously expected, following a Dec. 30 video call between Putin and Xi wherein the invitation to visit Moscow was initially made. According to The Moscow Times, "Xi, who secured an unprecedented third term in office last week, had been expected to travel to Moscow in April or early May."
Officially both sides are keeping mum on the reports that the visit is coming next week. "As a rule, announcements of official foreign visits are coordinated synchronously by mutual agreement of the parties," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a briefing. "When there is such readiness, we will let you know."
High on the agenda is expected to be China's efforts to get both warring sides to the negotiating table, after last month presenting its position paper, or a 12-point plan for resolving the Ukraine crisis. While it was immediately met with skepticism in the West, Ukraine's president Zelensky expressed rare openness.