By Burc Eruygur
ISTANBUL (AA) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that China's Ukraine "peace plan" could be discussed and that Moscow is always open for dialogue.
"We carefully reviewed your proposals to resolve the acute crisis in Ukraine ... Of course, we will have the opportunity to discuss this," Putin said during an informal meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, who arrived in Moscow on an official visit earlier in the day.
Expressing Russia's respect for China's efforts for a peaceful settlement of the war between Moscow and Kyiv, Putin said Beijing was acting according to international law.
"We know that you proceed from the principles of justice and observance of the fundamental provisions of international law," Putin said.
In February, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released a 12-point statement listing Beijing's position on a political settlement to the war in Ukraine. It called for respecting the sovereignty of all countries, ceasing hostilities, resuming peace talks, and resolving the humanitarian crisis in the region.
Keeping nuclear power plants safe, facilitating grain exports, and stopping unilateral sanctions were also listed in the plan, which noted that dialogue and negotiation are "the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis."
- China's 'tremendous leap' in development
Putin also praised China for the "tremendous leap" in its development in recent years, noting that this had generated "genuine interest" all over the world.
"We even envy you a little. China has created a very effective system for developing the economy and strengthening the state. It is much more effective than in many other countries world, this is an obvious fact," said the Russian leader.
Putin also underlined that he was certain China will take further steps in its development and to achieve its goals under Xi's leadership, while noting that Moscow shared many common tasks and goals with Beijing.
"I know that you personally, all our Chinese friends, pay great attention to the development of Russian-Chinese relations," Putin said.
For his part, Xi thanked Putin for his positive attitude towards China in terms of the country's development and construction, noting that Beijing attached great importance to relations with Russia, as they have "a historical logic."
Putin and Xi are expected to hold more talks on Tuesday in a narrow and expanded format, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier in the day.