Putin Delivers Grim Message to Xi Jinping About Ukraine Invasion

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.28 - 2023 12:53 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Putin Delivers Grim Message to Xi Jinping About War in Ukraine.

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Russian leader Vladimir Putin reportedly informed Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in March that Russia plans to continue its war against Ukraine for "at least five years."

This information was reported by Nikkei Asia on December 28, citing anonymous sources. The report follows media speculation that Putin might be ready for a ceasefire if Russia retains the territories it has illegally occupied in Ukraine. The West's strategy is reportedly shifting towards preparing conditions for Kyiv-Moscow talks.

Putin's Strategic Summary

According to Nikkei Asia's analysis, Putin's statement to Xi was a summary of the then-unfavorable battlefield situation for Russia, assuring the Chinese leader of Russia's eventual victory.

The statement likely implied that a prolonged war would benefit Russia and served as a warning to Xi to maintain his pro-Russian stance.

Xi Jinping visited Moscow on March 20 at Putin's invitation, marking his first state visit to Russia since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year. Beijing has supported Russia diplomatically and economically amid Western efforts to isolate Moscow but has seemingly avoided direct military assistance.

Putin's Ceasefire Signals

The New York Times reported on December 23 that Putin has been signaling behind closed doors that Russia would be open to a ceasefire along the current front line. Such a ceasefire would mean Russia keeps the territories it has illegally occupied in Ukraine, where human rights abuses have been reported.

An unnamed White House official and a European diplomat told Politico on December 27 that the Biden administration and European officials are shifting focus from supporting Ukraine's total victory over Russia to improving Ukraine's position in eventual peace talks. These negotiations could potentially force Ukraine to cede territory to Russia, a prospect unpopular among the Ukrainian population.

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