Twitchy-footed Putin squirms as Xi presents Ukraine peace deal in historic axis of evil meeting between despot pals | The SunMarch 20, 2023
VLADIMIR Putin's feet twitched as he met Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who presented him with a peace deal to end the Ukraine war.
Putin warmly greeted his fellow despot in the Kremlin but squirmed when he sat down opposite Xi as the pair prepare for Axis of Evil talks.
After stepping off his plane at Moscow's Vnukovo airport, Xi inspected a guard of honour on a red carpet before being whisked away for his meeting with Putin.
When he got to the Kremlin, the two men greeted one another as "dear friend" and warmly shook hands.
But when they sat down beside a fireplace with a table between them, Putin began to noticeably squirm as his feet twitched.
In recent months, Putin's feet have feet twitched and spasmed, asymptom of Parkinson's disease.
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The Chinese leader is expected to put forward proposals for ending the war in Ukraine.
But so far Beijing hasn’t offered any concrete proposals to end the war beyond 12-point peace plan to end the Ukraine war.
Putin told his guest "we will discuss your initiative which we view with respect" and that "we are open for a negotiating process on Ukraine".
The Russian president then praised Xi's "balanced approach"to the war.
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Xi in turn praised Putin and told him he was "convinced" he enjoyed the Russian people's support ahead of next year's presidential elections.
The Chinese President – who was recently made leader for life – also thanked Putin for his support for China and said Beijing should have close relations with Moscow.
The trip comes as comes just days after an arrest warrant was issued for the tyrant over alleged war crimes in the war-torn country.
Ahead of the three day visit both leaders gushed over each other in articles written for state-controlled newspapers.
"This is also a great opportunity for me to meet with my good old friend with whom we enjoy the warmest relationship," said Putin.
Xi responded, saying he looked forward to “forging ahead to open a new chapter of China-Russia friendship, cooperation and common development.”
This would see an end to sanctions on Russia, Ukraine giving up territory and NATO pulling back from its eastern frontiers.
The Kremlin has welcomed the plan and said it would be discussed talks between Putin and Xi that will begin over dinner on Monday.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he will only consider peace talks after all Russian troops completely leave his country’s territory.
The United States has strongly rejected the idea as the effectively cementing Kremlin’s battlefield gains.
China looks to Russia as a source of oil and gas for its energy-hungry economy and as a partner in opposing what both see as American domination of global affairs.
The two countries also have held joint military drills.
Xi's trip to Russia comes after the International Criminal Court on Friday issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest on war crimes charges.
The Kremlin, which doesn't recognise the authority of the ICC, has rejected its move as legally null and void.
It comes as Putin has made a shock visit to the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol just days after a warrant was put out for his arrest.
He was filmed by Russian state TV driving around the stricken city and meeting with residents during his first visit to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February last year.
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State media reported Putin made a "working trip" to the war-ravaged port city of Mariupol, his first visit to the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine's Donbas region since the conflict began.
Ukraine claims up to 1,000 of the estimated 14,700 children Russia has abducted since the start of the invasion are from Mariupol.
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