President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin were filmed saying cordial goodbyes at the close of their two-day summit, with China’s leader saying they were pushing geopolitical change around the world.
The two leaders urged “responsible dialogue” to end the Ukraine conflict, with Xi noting that Beijing and Moscow had signed a document ushering their ties into a “new era” of cooperation.
Xi’s Wednesday departure was filmed with interpreters speaking for both men.
“Right now there are changes – the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years – and we are the ones driving these changes together,” Xi told Putin as he stood at the door of the Kremlin to bid him farewell.
“I agree,” the Russian president responded.
Afterwards, Xi extended his hand to shake Putin’s, saying, “Please take care, dear friend.” Putin replied by grabbing both of Xi’s hands and wishing him a safe trip.
The visit of the Chinese leader to Moscow comes days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Putin for suspected war crimes in Ukraine, where Russian forces have struggled to advance despite suffering significant casualties in recent months.
The discussions were meant to solidify the “no limits” alliance the two presidents declared in February of last year, fewer than three weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine.
Putin said a peace deal might be built on a Chinese proposal to stop the conflict, but Kyiv and the West were not yet ready.
China’s peace initiative has been dismissed by the United States, which asserts that a ceasefire would secure Russian territorial gains and give Putin’s army more time to reorganize.