Xi's Moscow Visit Risks Further Emboldening Putin: Analysts
There is no sign the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow will rein in President Vladimir Putin in his war in Ukraine, even if it again highlights a lopsided relationship where Russia is clearly the junior partner, analysts say.
Xi held two days of talks this week in Moscow, his first visit since Putin unleashed his war against Ukraine in February last year.
Every aspect of their body language was scrutinised to try to ascertain the intentions of the two leaders.
Xi, bearing what has been described as a plan to end the conflict, presented himself as a mediator concerned with maintaining stability.
But Putin could only be heartened by Xi's expressions of support and the sheer symbolism of an in-person visit, even if Russia faces growing dependency on China as Moscow becomes more isolated from the West.
The visit came just after the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Putin, the biggest legal challenge the Russian leader has faced.
Tatiana Kastoueva-Jean, director of the Russia Centre at the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI), said that "Putin comes out of this visit strengthened in the short term but more dependent on China in the long term".
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