Yesterday, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, congratulated President Zelenskiy on his “Big Construction” project and “expressed China’s readiness to cooperate in this direction

,” Ukraine’s presidential office reported on the first telephone call between the two leaders. “In addition, the parties paid attention to the potential of cooperation in the field of trade and the possibility of increasing its volume,” Zelenskiy’s office reported on the call. Two weeks ago, China and Ukraine signed an agreement in Beijing to promote more Chinese construction of highways, railways, bridges and seaports in Ukraine, much of it financed by its national bank.

For his part, Zelenskiy called China “Ukraine’s No. 1 trade and economic partner in the world.”

 He expressed the hope that Ukraine will become “a bridge to Europe for Chinese business.” He thanked the Chinese leader for delivery of anti-coronavirus vaccines, saying: “These vaccines have saved the lives of many Ukrainians.” Finally, both leaders agreed to conclude a visa-free travel agreement between Ukraine and China.