China President Xi Jinping will speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after traveling to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week.
The leaders have yet to set a specific date for the call with Zelenskyy, but it will most likely take place after the trip to Moscow, according to The Wall Street Journal. The call would be the first time Zelenskyy and Xi have spoken since Putin invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
The potential call represents a first step for China after proposing a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine in February. Zelenskyy has been cautious of the Chinese involvement, however, as Beijing is widely considered to favor Russia in the conflict despite claiming neutrality.
“I believe that the fact that China started talking about Ukraine is not bad,” Zelenskyy said after Chine proposed its agreement. “But the question is what follows the words. The question is in the steps and where they will lead to.”
China successfully brokered a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran last week, much to the chagrin of some U.S. observers.
The agreement saw Iran and Saudi Arabia end years of hostility and re-engage in diplomatic relations on Friday. The groups held previously undisclosed meetings in Beijing.
Saudi Arabia and Iran also agreed to activate a security cooperation agreement signed in 2001 in addition to earlier agreements on trade, economy and investment. The talks in Beijing concluded an ongoing series of discussions that took place in Iraq and Oman in 2021 and 2022.
China is far less likely to secure such an agreement for Ukraine and Russia, however, but the talks can grant Beijing more credibility as a world power.