Chinese President Xi Jingping holds important meeting with Russian President Putin

Chinese President Xi Jingping holds important meeting with Russian President Putin

Chinese leader Xi Jinping arrived at the Kremlin on Tuesday for formal talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the Ukraine conflict a closely-watched matter on the agenda.

Xi entered the Kremlin on a red carpet and was greeted by a military band and a delegation of senior Russian officials including Putin, as both nations seek allies to counteract Western power.

The Chinese leader's Moscow visit has been viewed as a boost for Putin, who is under Western sanctions and subject to an International Criminal Court warrant over accusations of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children.

The Kremlin has said the two leaders would discuss proposals put forward by China to end more than a year of fighting in Ukraine, and that the talks were likely to end with Xi and Putin signing a raft of agreements.

Xi earlier met with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and hailed Russia and China as "great neighbouring powers" on the second day of his visit to Russia.

Beijing and Moscow's trade ties have boomed since Russia's Ukraine campaign, linking the nations more closely and raising worries in Western capital over how far the ties will go.

Xi, who said he had invited Putin to visit China this year, said China's government would "continue to prioritise the all-round strategic partnership between China and Russia".

"We are great neighbouring powers," he was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying during a meeting with Mishustin.

Xi's trip coincides with a surprise visit to Kyiv by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who visited Bucha, a town where Russian forces were accused of committing atrocities during their occupation last year.

Ukraine's foreign ministry described the trip as "historic" and called it "a sign of solidarity and strong cooperation between (Ukraine and Japan)".