Russian President Vladimir Putin will expect Chinese President Xi Jinping to show solidarity against Western hegemony when he arrives in Moscow on Monday, while Xi will present China as a global peacemaker intent on brokering an end to the Ukraine war.
* Xi will be the first world leader to shake Putin’s hand since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader on Friday over the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia since the start of the war. Moscow rejects the charge.
* In an article published at the start of his visit to Moscow, Xi said China’s proposal to end the Ukraine crisis, which was released last month, reflects global views and seeks to neutralise consequences, but acknowledged that the solutions are not easy.
* In an article for a Chinese newspaper, published on the Kremlin website late on Sunday, Putin said he had high hopes for the visit by his “good old friend” Xi, with whom he signed a “no limits” strategic partnership last year. He also welcomed China’s willingness to mediate in the conflict.
* China’s proposal contains only general statements and no concrete detail on how to end the year-long war which has claimed tens of thousands of lives and forced millions to flee.
* The United States and its Western allies are deeply sceptical of China’s motives, noting it has declined to condemn Russia and provided it with an economic lifeline as other countries heap sanctions on it.
* Justice ministers from around the world will meet in London on Monday to discuss scaling up support for the International Criminal Court after it issued an arrest warrant for Putin.
* Several European Union countries will sign an agreement on Monday in Brussels to buy 155 mm artillery shells for Ukraine. Kyiv has identified the supply of 155 mm shells as a critical need, with both sides firing thousands of artillery rounds every day.
* A deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of Ukrainian grain was renewed for at least 60 days – half the intended period – after Russia warned any further extension beyond mid-May would depend on the removal of some Western sanctions.
* In Ukraine, fierce fighting continued in the eastern town of Bakhmut with each side launching counter offensives. Ukrainian forces have held out in Bakhmut since last summer in the longest and bloodiest battle of the year-long war.