REPORT: Xi Jinping To Meet Putin, Zelenskyy Days After Brokering Crucial Diplomatic Deal

(Photo by SERGEI BOBYLYOV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
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Chinese President Xi Jinping is reportedly set to meet both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as soon as next week, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Xi is slated to visit Putin in-person in Russia and then meet with Zelenskyy virtually, anonymous sources allegedly told the WSJ. Such a meeting would be the first to take place between Xi and Zelenskyy since Russia invaded Ukraine last February.

His exact plans are yet to be confirmed, but Xi may opt to visit some other European countries after his stop in Russia, according to the WSJ. A Ukrainian official said the call with Xi hadn’t yet been confirmed.

Beijing has taken a more aggressive diplomatic turn in recent months, putting forward a position paper touted by some as a “peace plan” last month calling for a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia. Zelenskyy said he was open to certain aspects of China’s proposal, although it also included several non-starters.

The West has accused China of aiding and abetting Russia’s invasion. China has operated as a key diplomatic and economic ally while providing non-lethal assistance to Moscow, and has refused to condemn Russia’s war or call it an invasion, the outlet reported. The United States has warned in recent weeks that China is considering providing lethal aid to Russia, though that does not appear to have happened as of yet. (RELATED: Biden Admin: Our Strategy Isn’t About ‘Holding Back’ China)

Just last week, Beijing was part of a major diplomatic breakthrough in another region, one that has more often been the domain of Washington. Xi announced the brokering of a deal to restore diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Beijing before the National People’s Congress on Friday, ending a seven year period in which neither country had an embassy or ambassador for the other, the WSJ reported.

The United States said it welcomes any improvement of relations in the region that could bring further peace and stability, even if it is brokered directly by Xi. Regarding a potential meeting between Zelenskyy and Xi, State Department Spokesman Ned Price said Monday that the Biden administration “welcomes” engagement between the two countries.