During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin told him that Russia was allegedly ready to fight Ukraine for another five years. The Kremlin leader tried to convince his Chinese counterpart that Moscow could win.

According to Nikkei Asia, during their meeting in Moscow back in March of this year, Putin said that Russia would fight Ukraine for at least five years.

That statement was Putin’s way of summarizing the situation, which was unfavorable for the Kremlin at the time, and assuring Xi that “Russia will eventually win.”

Journalists note that it is not yet clear whether the Chinese president believed Putin’s words. However, they could have affected relations between the two countries by influencing the deployment of a Chinese peacekeeping mission to Europe and the removal of the Chinese Foreign Minister from office.

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In addition, according to the publication, China has revised its strategy, as the protracted war in Ukraine will significantly affect Xi Jinping’s plans and ambitions during his third term as president of China, in particular, his plans to annex Taiwan.

Thus, given Putin’s words to Xi Jinping about a “five-year war,” the publication writes that any announcement of a ceasefire by Putin should not be taken at face value.

The Nikkei Asia journalists suggest Putin may simply want to create the illusion that he is moving toward a ceasefire or even peace ahead of the presidential elections in Russia in March, believing that such an atmosphere will favor him in the elections.

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Xi is also reported to be “harboring a grudge” against Putin for not warning him of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Putin attended the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in early February 2022, but did not warn Xi about his large-scale plans, which offended the Chinese leader.

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