The foreign ministers of China and Russia conferred by phone on Monday, after Beijing participated in weekend talks in Saudi Arabia aimed at ending the war in Ukraine that did not include Moscow.
The Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, and his Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, discussed “the Ukrainian crisis and other international and regional issues of common concern,” according to a statement from China’s foreign ministry.
During the call, Mr. Wang told Mr. Lavrov that China would “uphold an independent and impartial stance” on Ukraine, “actively promote” peace talks and seek a political solution to the conflict “on any multilateral occasion,” the Chinese statement said.
The Russian foreign ministry, in its own statement, said the discussion between Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Wang touched upon a number of “hot regional topics, including the Ukrainian crisis,” noting that the conversation “once again confirmed the unity” of the two nations’ approaches to world affairs.
Neither statement mentioned the weekend talks in Saudi Arabia.
Ukraine and Saudi Arabia invited some 40 countries to participate in the talks in Jeddah, including China, Ukraine, the United States and India, as well as the European Union. Russia was not invited.
Participants were heartened by China’s decision to attend.
Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine set off a brutal war 18 months ago, officials and analysts have looked for China to possibly play a role in helping to end the conflict. The country is the top importer of Russian oil and has one of the few governments holding significant leverage over the Kremlin.
Russia denounced the Jeddah talks as pointless without its own participation, characterizing the gathering as a futile effort to rally the developing world behind Kyiv.
The talks came at a time of heightened tension in the Black Sea. Last month, Russia declined to extend a deal, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, that had mitigated damage to the global food trade by allowing Ukraine to safely ship its grain. Then, as Ukraine sought alternate routes, Russia attacked Ukraine’s ports.
Ukraine has responded by attacking Russian targets in the Black Sea, including in Novorossiysk, one of Russia’s biggest ports and a key export hub for oil and grain.
China released a paper on solving the conflict in February that largely rehashed old positions and was met tepidly by Western diplomats, many of whom are skeptical Beijing will play any meaningful role in ending the war.
On Monday, according to the Chinese foreign ministry, Mr. Lavrov told Mr. Wang that Moscow agreed with China’s position paper on the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, “and appreciates and welcomes China’s constructive role in this regard.”