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Vladimir Putin To Attend Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony And Meet With Xi Jinping

Russia's President Vladimir Putin will attend the Winter Olympics 2022 opening ceremony in Beijing on February 4, and meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Vladimir Putin

Image: AP


Russia's President Vladimir Putin will attend the Winter Olympics 2022 opening ceremony in Beijing on February 4, and meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The talks would cover the entire gamut of Russia-China ties, according to Lavrov. The Russian News Agency further reported that Lavrov also announced that he will meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on February 3.

Sputnik reported Lavrov, as saying, "We are preparing an official Russian-Chinese summit ... Putin, at the invitation of President Xi Jinping, will visit Beijing on February 4, the opening day of the Olympic Games. On the same day, full-scale negotiations at the highest level will take place."

Imran Khan to attend the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics

Meanwhile, News International reported Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will travel to China next month to attend the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Olympics and have bilateral talks. The announcement that Putin and Imran Khan will attend the event comes after Western governments planned a boycott. The announcement of Pakistan's Prime Minister's tour of China comes after numerous countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, launched a diplomatic boycott of the games due to human rights violations. North Korea is the latest country to withdraw from the games, citing the COVID-19 virus as the reason.

However, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada have all launched diplomatic boycotts of the event, with North Korea being the most recent to withdraw due to the pandemic. Despite the fact that athletes from all over the world will compete in the four-yearly event, no dignitaries from these western nations are expected to attend. The US boycotted the Beijing Olympics due to China's poor human rights record, particularly in light of the persecution of Uyghurs in Xinjiang and Tibetans in recent years.

It's worth noting that the Beijing Winter Olympics are taking place in the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron strain. Three Chinese towns have been placed under rigorous lockdown ahead of the event, which is due to begin on February 4. This has put a strain on the organising of the games. Authorities in China have chosen to implement a strict 'zero Covid' policy, putting millions of people living in cities with positive Coronavirus infections on lockdown. The Chinese city of Xi'an, which has a population of 13 million people, has been shut down for nearly three weeks.

(With inputs from agencies)

Image: AP

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