Here is the situation as it stands on Wednesday, March 22, 2023:
Putin-Xi summit in Moscow
- Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for two days – on Monday and Tuesday.
- On the second day of talks, Putin and Xi signed an agreement bringing relations into a “new era of cooperation”, with the two leaders calling for “responsible dialogue” to resolve the Ukraine crisis.
- Putin said a Chinese proposal to end the conflict could be used as the basis of a peace settlement but that the West and Ukraine were not yet ready.
- The declaration signed by Putin and Xi said the two countries were concerned by NATO’s growing presence in Asia and accused Washington of “undermining” global security.
Moscow and Beijing said they will regularly conduct joint military exercises and ramp up cooperation between their armed forces.
- Putin said an agreement had been reached on the Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline, which would send Russian natural gas to China via Mongolia.
Aid and weapons
- Putin warned the United Kingdom over the provision of depleted-uranium tank shells to Ukraine, saying Moscow would be “forced to react” if these were delivered.
- The United States has inaugurated its first permanent army base in Poland. More than 10,000 US soldiers are currently stationed in Poland, which has become the main transit country for international aid and equipment to neighbouring Ukraine.
- Four Republican members of the US Congress have urged President Joe Biden to send cluster munitions to Ukraine.
- NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned China against supplying arms to Russia.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it has reached a staff-level agreement with Ukraine to help its economic recovery, financing a four-year package worth about $15.6bn.
- The US has said it will deliver its much sought-after Abrams tanks to Ukraine by the last quarter of this year and fast-track the deployment of advanced Patriot air-defence missile systems.
- In a trip coinciding with Xi’s talks in Moscow, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in Kyiv, where he delivered a message of solidarity and support for Ukraine.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had suggested to China that it participate in Ukraine’s peace formula to bring an end to the war but had not yet received a response.
- Washington said that if China truly was interested in seeing peace in Ukraine, Xi should urge Moscow to withdraw from Ukraine and bring an end to the invasion.
- Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s armed forces need more ammunition and that he expects an increase in supply from Western partners.
- Russian forces have continued to attack Ukraine’s eastern city of Bakhmut despite sustaining huge losses in troops and weapons, the Ukrainian army said.
- Ukraine said a shipment of Russian Kalibr cruise missiles was blown up in annexed Crimea on the way to the Russian Black Sea fleet. Russian authorities said the attack by drones targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies