Putin assures Xi that he will go to the Winter Olympics as a sign of unity | Wladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin has confirmed that he will attend the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, an event that Boris Johnson and other Western leaders have boycotted in protest against human rights abuses in China.
Putin made the promise during a video call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping when he said that a “new model of cooperation between our countries has been formed based on other principles such as non-interference [each other’s] internal affairs “.
Russia and China are facing increasing pressure from the US and Western countries as regional conflicts and human rights violations have led to growing tensions.
The US, UK and Australia have all announced that senior officials will not attend the Winter Games, largely due to China’s mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang and crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
Putin seeks support in his growing conflict with the West over military build-up near Ukraine. His promise to take part in the Olympic Games would mean a rare trip abroad for the Covid-shy Russian president. He has only traveled abroad twice since the outbreak of the pandemic – in June to Geneva to meet Joe Biden and to New Delhi to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Xi has not left China publicly since 2019.
“As agreed, we will hold talks and then take part in the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics,” Putin Xi said during the meeting. Although the two leaders are not allies and compete with one another for influence, they have found a common cause in resisting the pressures of how they govern their countries.
The approval came when a senior US official arrived in Moscow for talks with Russian diplomats. US Deputy Secretary of State Karen Donfried had previously traveled to Kiev, where she told officials that Washington would under no circumstances press Ukraine to make concessions to Russia.
In Moscow she met Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. The meeting lasted an hour, during which Ryabkov said he would officially propose the “security guarantees” that Russia has demanded from the US and NATO countries. Moscow in particular has demanded guarantees that Ukraine will not join NATO and will not serve as the basis for the infrastructure of the military alliance.
“In view of the ongoing attempts by the US and NATO to change the military and political situation in Europe in their favor, there has been a substantive discussion about security guarantees,” said the Russian Foreign Ministry in a brief statement that did not provide any further details about this To meet.