TOKYO, May 15 (KUNA) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow is open to a dialogue on Ukraine, while expressing positive views on China's efforts towards the political settlement of the crisis, the Beijing-based official Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.
"We have never refused to negotiate. We are seeking a comprehensive, sustainable and just settlement of this conflict through peaceful means. We are open to a dialogue on Ukraine, but such negotiations must take into account the interests of all countries involved in the conflict, including ours," Putin was quoted as saying in a written interview with Xinhua on the eve of his two-day state visit to China, which will start on Thursday.
The president also said that China clearly understands the roots of the Ukraine crisis and its global geopolitical impact, as reflected in "China's position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis," a 12-point proposition issued by China in February 2023, according to the report.
"The concepts and suggestions indicated in the document demonstrate the sincere desire of China to stabilize the situation," he said, stressing that the four principles for the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis recently proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping seamlessly fit in the above-mentioned document.
"The steps build on the idea that we need to forego the 'Cold War mentality' and ensure indivisible security and respect for international law and the UN Charter in their entirety and interrelation," he said.
Meanwhile, in the interview, the Russian leader underscored that this year is special for both countries, noting that October marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. "The deep and longstanding friendship and cooperation between the peoples of Russia and China has established one of the most important pillars of bilateral relations," he said.
Putin noted that the rapid development of Russia-China trade relations has been demonstrating strong immunity to external challenges and crises. In the past five years, trade between the two countries has doubled, he noted, saying that China has been Russia's largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years, and in 2023, Russia ranked the fourth among China's trading partners. (end) mk.rk