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Putin’s visit to China planned for this year, exact date unknown — ambassador

The envoy said that a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping is also on this year's agenda

MOSCOW, June 19. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China is planned for this year, however, the exact date of the visit is unknown so far, Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov said on Friday in an open interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman.

"It was planned that the official visit of the Russian president would take place in early fall, however, there hasn’t been a final decision. These plans are not finalized. This is why we expect that the visit of our leader to China will definitely take place later this year," he said.

"The dates might be moved. We have not had a practical discussion of exact dates with our Chinese partners yet for obvious reasons," the ambassador added.

Denisov informed that a meeting between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping is also planned this year. "We are also discussing it, it might take place in the fall — in October, maybe in November. It should take place in our country," he pointed out.

"Of course, the epidemic has affected the discussion of our contacts, however, the discussion continues. Both we and our Chinese partners are maintaining cooperation," the diplomat said.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 8,595,700 people have been infected worldwide and more than 456,600 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 4,546,890 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.