Moscow, Mar 21 (IANS): Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jingping at the Kremlin, has said his country is "always open for a negotiation process".
Putin made the remarks on Monday in response to China's "plan settle ongoing Ukraine crisis".
The plan aimed to "end the Russia-Ukraine war" was released by China in February. However, the US has warned it could be a "stalling tactic", the BBC reported.
"The world should not be fooled by any tactical move by Russia, supported by China or any other country, to freeze the war on its own terms," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was quoted as saying by the British broadcaster.
"Calling for a ceasefire that does not include the removal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory would effectively be supporting the ratification of Russian conquest," Blinken added.
Talks between the two leaders lasted four and a half hours on Monday, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. Further formal meetings are expected to follow on Tuesday.
Xi, who called Putin his "dear friend," praised his Russian counterpart, saying the country's development had "significantly improved", CNN reported.
"Both sides exchanged in-depth views on the Ukraine issue," reported Xinhua news agency, describing the leaders' meeting as "in-depth and candid."