Chinese leader Xi Jinping began a three-day visit to Moscow on Monday, his first since President Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Talks between the two leaders lasted more than four hours and the leaders are expected to continue more formal meetings Tuesday.
Here are the latest headlines:
Moscow meeting: During the meeting, Xi told Putin that China and Russia have “similar goals” and he expressed support for Putin to be reelected. US officials, for their part, were paying close attention to the talks. John Kirby, the National Security Council communications coordinator, said the US remains concerned that Xi would reiterate calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine that would only benefit Moscow by allowing Russian forces to remain inside Ukrainian territory.
Tanks delivered: Norway delivered eight Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, the Norwegian Armed Forces announced. Training for Ukrainian soldiers on the tanks is underway in Poland. Last month, Norway announced its decision to send the German-manufactured tanks, with Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre noting “several allied countries have also done the same.” At the beginning of February, the Norwegian government also announced it had decided to order 54 German Leopard 2 tanks to strengthen its own defense capabilities which were expected to be delivered in 2026.
Ammunition and aid for Ukraine: Eighteen European nations have agreed to jointly procure ammunition to “aid Ukraine and replenish national stockpiles,” the European Defence Agency said in a news release on Monday. The Biden administration also authorized an additional $350 million in security aid, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced. The Presidential Drawdown includes “more ammunition for U.S.-provided HIMARS and howitzers that Ukraine is using to defend itself, as well as ammunition for Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons, riverine boats, and other equipment,” Blinken said in a statement.
For perspective: The US has committed more than $32 billion in Presidential Drawdown funds to aid Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began more than one year ago.
Latest on Bakhmut: The chief of Russia’s Wagner private military group Yevgeny Prigozhin said Monday in an open letter to the Russian defense minister that the mercenary force controls around 70% of Bakhmut. A months-long battle continues in the eastern city and earlier this month, Prigozhin acknowledged that the situation was “difficult, very difficult, with the enemy fighting each other for each meter.”
- Justice ministers from around the world met in London to discuss ramping up support for the International Criminal Court’s efforts to investigate alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine.
- Dr. Karen Donfried, the top State Department official for Europe who has been a key player in the Biden administration’s approach to the Ukraine war is departing her post, Blinken announced on Monday.