Chinese Source (Xinhua): http://www.news.cn/2022-02/25/c_1128417363.htm
Russian source (TASS): https://tass.ru/politika/13859443
Introduction by Adam Ni, translations by Adam Ni (Chinese) and Anastasiia Rudkovska (Russian)
An hour ago (evening February 25, Beijing time), Xinhua reported that Xi and Putin discussed Ukraine over the phone that afternoon. The key takeaway: Putin told Xi that Russia is now ready to negotiate with Ukraine, and Xi expressed his support.
Given the fast-moving pace of events in Ukraine and that many of you are monitoring Beijing's reactions/position, I thought we'd translate both the official Chinese readout and the Russian report of the call for you.
For context, here is our take on Beijing's initial response to the outbreak of conflict in Ukraine. And I'd encourage you to read Evan Feigenbaum's insights on China's irreconcilable choice on Ukraine.
Translation #1: Xinhua readout
Xi Jinping spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone
Xinhua (Beijing), February 25 — President Xi Jinping spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the afternoon of February 25.
Xi reiterated his thanks to Putin for coming to China to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics and congratulated the Russian athletes on their second place in the medal table. Putin extended his warm congratulations to all Chinese people on the success of the Beijing Winter Olympics and the outstanding performance of the Chinese [Olympic] delegation.
The two focused on exchanging views on the current situation in Ukraine.
Putin briefed [Xi] on the history of the Ukrainian issue and Russia's special military operations in, and its stance on, the eastern part of Ukraine. He stated that the United States and NATO are challenging Russia's strategic bottom line: they have long-ignored Russia's legitimate security concerns, repeatedly reneged on their commitments and kept pushing military deployments to the east. [President Putin said that] The Russian side is ready to engage in high-level negotiations with the Ukrainian side.
Xi Jinping pointed out that the recent dramatic changes in the situation in eastern Ukraine have aroused great concern in the international community. China's position is determined by the merits of the Ukrainian issue itself. [All countries] should abandon the Cold War mentality, attach importance to and respect the reasonable security concerns of all countries, and form a balanced, effective and sustainable European security regime through negotiations. China supports the Russian side resolving its differences with the Ukrainian side through negotiations. China's basic position on respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter has been consistent. China is willing to work with all parties in the international community to advocate a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable concept of security and firmly uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core and an international order based on international law.
Translation #2: TASS report
BEIJING, February 25 via TASS, Chinese President Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. China Central Television reported this on Friday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 25 in the afternoon.
China called for a "move away from the Cold War mentality" concerning the Ukrainian issue and the formation of a stable and effective mechanism for ensuring European security. "It is necessary to abandon the Cold War mentality, take into account and respect the legitimate concerns of countries in the field of security, through negotiations to form a balanced, effective and sustainable mechanism [for ensuring] European security," China Central Television quotes [Pressident Xi] as saying.
The Chinese government favours settling differences between Russia and Ukraine through negotiations. "The Chinese side supports a settlement between Russia and Ukraine through negotiations," Xi Jinping said.
Xi Jinping and Putin exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine.
Putin briefed Xi Jinping on the history of the Ukrainian issue and the special military operation in Eastern Ukraine.