(MENAFN) Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Russia has raised concerns in Ukraine about the potential for China to supply its ally, Russia, with arms, further escalating the conflict in Ukraine. Mr. Xi's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin will be the first by a world leader since an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Putin on Friday over the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. Moscow denies the charges.
Mr. Xi is expected to present China as a global peacemaker and aim to broker an end to the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have not publicly commented on the visit but are closely monitoring it, according to a senior official. The official stated that it is critical that China maintains its policy of unwavering respect for the territorial integrity of other countries, referencing Russia's annexation of five Ukrainian regions.
In February, the US accused China of considering supplying arms to Russia. China released a 12-point proposal to solve the Ukraine crisis last month, which Mr. Xi described as a constructive factor in neutralizing the consequences of the crisis and promoting a political settlement. However, the situation in Ukraine remains dire, with fears that the number of deaths could increase to over 30,000 by mid-2023 due to drought and food insecurity.
The meeting between Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin comes after the ICC's announcement of charges against Mr. Putin, which has increased tensions between Russia and the West. The ICC charges Mr. Putin with personal responsibility for the abduction of thousands of children from Ukraine, and governments that recognize the court's jurisdiction would be obligated to arrest him if he visits.
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