Xi, Putin to meet in Uzbekistan next week

Russia's ambassador to China says President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will meet in person in Uzbekistan next week.

Russia's state-run Tass news agency on Wednesday quoted the ambassador, Andrey Denisov, as saying the two leaders will meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. The gathering is scheduled to take place on September 15 and 16.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning declined to confirm the report, saying she had no information to offer.

On Monday, a Kazakh foreign ministry spokesperson reportedly said the Chinese president will officially visit Kazakhstan, which neighbors Uzbekistan, on September 14.

If Xi travels abroad, it will be his first visit to a foreign country since the coronavirus pandemic spread globally in 2020.

Russia's presidential office has already said Putin will attend the SCO summit in Uzbekistan.

Should Xi and Putin meet, it will be their first face-to-face talks since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The two leaders last met in person in Beijing on February 4.