Putin steps up diplomacy with friendly nations Syria, China

Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the Kremlin for a summit.

During their meeting on Wednesday, Assad stated Syria's position of supporting what he referred to as the special military operation in Ukraine to fight Nazism. Assad noted that this was his first visit to Moscow since Russia started its "special military operation."

Putin emphasized at the start of their talks that the Russian military has made a "decisive contribution" to Syria achieving important results in its fight against "international terrorists." Putin was referring to a military campaign Russia has waged since 2015 in Syria to give support to Assad in the country's civil war.

In reply, Assad thanked Putin for backing Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Syria is one of the countries that Russia maintains friendly ties with.

A Russian government official has told NHK that Putin is planning to invite Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow next week. A summit between the two leaders will be the first since Russia started its invasion of Ukraine.

Putin appears to be stepping up his diplomacy with friendly nations, while relations with the United States and its allies continue to worsen.