Putin hosts Xi in the Kremlin with imperial palace pageantry
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia and China are showcasing their “no limit friendship” during a pomp-laden Kremlin ceremony intended to further cement ties amid the fighting in Ukraine. After hosting Chinese leader Xi Jinping over private dinner for 4 1/2 hours the previous night, Russian President Vladimir Putin greeted him for Tuesday’s official talks in the Grand Kremlin Palace. Putin greeted the Chinese leader in St. George’s hall where walls are covered by white-marble plaques with gold engravings of of the names of military units and soldiers awarded with the order of St. George, a top military award established by Catherine the Great. The imperial-style pageantry reflected the importance of Xi’s three-day visit to Russia that gave a strong political boost to Putin.