American and European officials may be staying away from the Beijing Winter Olympics because of human rights concerns, but Russian President Vladimir Putin will be on hand even as tensions soar over his buildup of troops along his country’s border with Ukraine.
Putin’s talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday will mark their first in-person meeting since 2019 and are intended to help strengthen Moscow’s ties with China and coordinate their policies in the face of Western pressure. After, the two will attend the Games’ opening ceremony.
In an article published Thursday by the Chinese news agency Xinhua, Putin wrote that Moscow and Beijing play an “important stabilizing role” in global affairs and help make international affairs “more equitable and inclusive.”
The Russian president criticized “attempts by some countries to politicize sports to the benefit of their ambitions,” an apparent reference to a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics by the U.S. and some of its allies.
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