Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi to speak by video link on Friday

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping via video link on Friday to discuss a host of bilateral and regional issues.

“First of all, they will talk about bilateral Russian-Chinese relations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

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“And, of course, it will be very important to exchange views on more acute regional problems - those that are closer to us, Russia, and those that are closer to China,” Peskov added, without providing specific details.

Moscow has sought to deepen its economic, political and security ties with Beijing since sending its armed forces into Ukraine in February.

The two countries signed a “no limits” strategic partnership a few days before Russia launched the campaign.

Beijing has also increased its purchases of Russian oil and gas since European countries cut links with Russia, while Moscow has publicly backed Xi’s position on Taiwan and accused the West of trying to provoke a conflict over the status of the self-governing island, which China claims as its own.

But Xi has at times appeared cool on Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine; Putin in September publicly acknowledged that his Chinese counterpart had “concerns” over Russia’s actions.

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