China's Xi to visit Russia for 3 days from Monday

China's Foreign Ministry says President Xi Jinping will make a three-day official visit to Russia from Monday at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin.

It will be the leaders' first in-person meeting since September, when they met on the sidelines of a regional summit in Uzbekistan.

Xi will be in Russia for the first time since the country launched its invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular news conference on Friday that Xi will promote strategic and practical cooperation between the two countries, and inject new impetus into the development of bilateral relations.

He also said that China maintains an objective and neutral stance on the crisis in Ukraine and will play a constructive role in facilitating peace talks.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry released in February a document titled "China's Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis," and urged Moscow and Kyiv to resume direct talks to reach a ceasefire.

The Kremlin also announced Xi's state visit to Moscow. It said the leaders will discuss further developing the comprehensive partnership between the two countries.

It also said they will exchange opinions on deepening cooperation in the international arena.

Observers say that Russia apparently wants to seek China's cooperation on the situation in Ukraine.