Putin to make a state visit to China this week

This will be his first foreign trip since he was sworn in as president for fifth term

Russia Putin Ukraine Crimea's Seizure Russian President Vladimir Putin | AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin will make a two-day state visit to China this week, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Putin will meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping during his visit starting on Thursday, it said.

The Kremlin in a statement confirmed the trip and said Putin was going on Xi's invitation. It said that this will be Putin's first foreign trip since he was sworn in as president and began his fifth term in office.

The two continent-sized authoritarian states, increasingly in dispute with democracies and NATO, seek to gain influence in Africa, the Middle East and South America. China has backed Russia's claim that President Vladimir Putin launched his assault on Ukraine in 2022 because of Western provocations, without producing any solid evidence.

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