Vladimir Putin acknowledges Xi Jinping’s Ukraine war concerns

Russia's Vladimir Putin met with China's Xi Jinping, who expressed concerns about Russia's ongoing war with Ukraine, Yahoo Finance's Kevin Cirilli reports.

Video Transcript

- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with China's President, Xi Jinping, yesterday in their first in-person meeting since Russia invaded Ukraine, where Putin said China expressed questions and concerns about the invasion. Yahoo Finance contributor Kevin Cirilli joins us now with some analysis. Kevin?

KEVIN CIRILLI: It was remarkable because Russia President Vladimir Putin saying that-- acknowledging for the first time, really, that Xi Jinping has, quote, "questions and concerns about Russia's invasion of the Ukraine." And, of course, this approaches the seven-month anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. And it comes after a difficult period of the last two weeks for Russia, as Ukraine has really been able to go on offense and really expose Russia's struggling in the region. But Xi Jinping, for his part, also saying that he's urging for Putin to have, quote, "to inject stability," end quote, into the region. This again is really the first time that Xi Jinping has come out and expressed some type of wanting there to be a willingness for peace in the region.

Now, we should also note that Russia and China have really been forging ahead with some type of totalitarianism dance as it would relate to geopolitics. And Beijing has profited from Russia's invasion of the Ukraine. If you look at the Yahoo Finance App, for example, you'll see the data that crude, gas, and coal has surged 17% into Beijing just in the last summer. This, of course, as Europe has added their sanctions. And, obviously, the United States has done so as well.

- And it was really striking, Kevin, to your point here, that the rapprochement or the relationship between the two is maybe not quite as cozy as the outside world had supposed. We knew going into this that Xi was in more the power position, right? But it was interesting to see it played out. I don't think that he said the word "Ukraine" in his statement, right?

KEVIN CIRILLI: He didn't. He didn't. And that even in itself is a really great point, because there was a tacit acknowledgment that, look, signaling to the world that Xi Jinping is not looking to play a dominant role at all whatsoever in Russia's war with Ukraine. But let's be crystal clear here to that point, because Russia and China have been really forging ahead with trying to be a thorn in the side of the West, because if you look at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is a security apparatus in the Asia region dominated by Russia and China, Tehran, Iran has just announced just in the last couple of days that they're one step closer to joining that arrangement.

And then even beyond that, Russia has cozied up to Iran, as well as to North Korea. They've accepted the sale of drones to facilitate their aggression into the Ukraine. So by the broader view here, Xi Jinping did not come out and forcefully say, he's backing Russia and the war with Ukraine. But it was a measured commentary and perhaps an acknowledgment that Putin miscalculated in terms of how strong the NATO alliance held, how strong the United States and backing Europe has been able to hold, and just how crippling those economic sanctions have been against the Ukraine-- I'm sorry, against Russia as a result of Ukraine.

- Yahoo Finance contributor. Kevin Cirilli, thanks so much. Have a great weekend.