VLADIMIR Putin feasted on a luxurious meal with Chinese leader Xi Jinping after the two leaders met to discuss a potential peace deal in Ukraine.
The two despots enjoyed a lavish dinner after they held one-to-one talks on Monday discussing the relationship between their countries ahead of peace talks this week.
The two leaders met on Monday to discuss a potential peace deal[/caption]
Putin who appeared twitchy during the meeting sat down for a meal with Xi, which included traditional Russian dishes.
The menu started blini with quail and mushrooms- a type of Eastern European pancake made from buckwheat flour or wheat.
The meal continued with a sterlet sturgeon soup, followed by a pomegranate sorbet.
Next was an Arctic fish called nelma with vegetables, and venison with cherry sauce.
The two leaders ended their meal with pavlova for dessert.
The dishes were accompanied by wines from Russia’s southern Krasnodar region.
The Russian leader’s palace is believed to be in the region- it was Putin’s secret hideaway before it was exposed by a whistleblower in 2010.
Xi was the first leader to meet the Russian president since The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin over his alleged involvement in the abductions of children from Ukraine.
Moscow said the charge was one of several “clearly hostile displays” and opened a criminal case against the ICC prosecutor and judges.
Beijing said the warrant reflected double standards.
The two men warmly greeted one another when as Xi arrived in Moscow with Putin calling him “dear friend.”
Putin said: “In recent years, China has made a tremendous leap forward in its development.
“It arouses genuine interest all over the world, and even we envy you a little.”
The Chinese leader is expected to put forward proposals for ending the war in Ukraine.
But so far Beijing hasn’t offered any concrete proposals beyond the 12-point peace plan to end the Ukraine war.
Putin told his guest “we will discuss your initiative which we view with respect” and that “we are open for a negotiating process on Ukraine”.
The Russian president then praised Xi’s “balanced approach” to the war.
Xi in turn praised Putin and told him he was “convinced” he enjoyed the Russian people’s support ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
Xi said: “I know Russia will hold a presidential election.
“Under your strong leadership, Russia has made great strides in its prosperous development.
“I am confident that the Russian people will continue to give you their firm support.”
The Kremlin has welcomed the Chinese peace plan and said it would be discussed talks between Putin and Xi that will begin over dinner on Monday.
The proposal would see an end to sanctions on Russia, Ukraine giving up territory and NATO pulling back from its eastern frontiers.
But Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he will only consider peace talks after all Russian troops completely leave his country’s territory.
It comes after Putin made a shock visit to the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol meeting with residents during his first visit to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February last year.