Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcomed today its Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrovahead of the expected visit to China by the president of Russia Vladimir Putin on the occasion of an international forum on the new silk roads.

China and Russia, neighboring states, share a will to counter what they see as American hegemony and have tightened ties despite the war in Ukraine, which Beijing refuses to condemn.

Mr. Lavrov said after the meeting that he views China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative as key to promoting cooperation in Eurasia, according to Russian news agencies.

The plan is “an important part of promoting cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit across the Eurasian continent,” Lavrov said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to participate in the meeting for the ten years of this initiative, tomorrow Tuesday and the day after Wednesday.

The last months, the Russian president avoided participating in international meetings outside his country’s borders because of an arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which accuses him of the “forcible displacement” of children from Ukraine.