Putin and Xi Jinping end first round of talks with U.S. on alert

The leaders of China and Russia talked about a 12-point peace plan on the bloody war in Ukraine.

This Monday Chinese leader Xi Jinping had the first meeting in the Kremlin with Vladimir Putin as part of a three-day visit that seeks to boost ties between the two nations and is touted as a "journey for peace."

At the start of the four-and-a-half-hour meeting, Putin congratulated his Chinese counterpart on his re-election and praised him for his 12-point plan on the bloody war in Ukraine.

"We will discuss all those issues, including your initiative that we highly respect," said the Russian president, although he has previously insisted that in order to reach a peace plan it must be taken into consideration that Ukrainian territories which are already occupied by your country, should be considered as yours, something Ukraine has completely ruled out.

Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky has said that in order to reach an agreement Russian troops must leave their territory.

U.S. concern

John Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator for the U.S. National Security Council, stated his concern about the possibility that, during the meetings between Xi and Putin China will focus on calls for a cease-fire that would allow Russian forces to stay on Ukrainian territory.

"Any ceasefire that does not address the removal of Russian forces from Ukraine would effectively ratify Russia’s illegal conquest," he said.

Kirby remained skeptical about any progress that might be achieved by the meetings between Russia and China.

"We'll see what they come out of this meeting talking about. I mean, we don't know if there's going to be some sort of arrangement, I would just tell you that we still don't believe that China is taking it off the table," he said.

Ukraine attentive to the summit

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported Monday that Ukraine "closely follows" Xi's trip and invited him to "use his influence on Moscow" to bring the aggression against Ukraine to an end.

"We stand ready to engage in a closer dialogue with China in order to restore peace in Ukraine in accordance with the principles enshrined in the U.N. Charter, and the latest UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) resolution on this matter," the spokesman said.