Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing to discuss the situation in Ukraine, the Russian foreign ministry said yesterday.
This came as Washington said Vice-President Joe Biden would travel to Kiev this month in support of the government there.
Lavrov will visit China tomorrow, ahead of four-way talks between diplomats from the EU, US Ukraine and Russia planned in Geneva on Thursday. Those talks are now in doubt amid violent clashes between supporters of Kiev and pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine.
In meetings with the Chinese leader and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Lavrov planned to "devote special attention to the situation in Ukraine", the Russian foreign ministry said.
Meanwhile, Biden, set to travel to Kiev on April 22, would become the most senior US official to visit the country since the crisis began there. US officials expressed new concern over "violence and sabotage" by militants it said were apparently supported by Russia in eastern Ukraine.
In Brussels, Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was "extremely concerned" about the escalation of tensions.
"The reappearance of men with specialised Russian weapons and identical uniforms without insignia, as previously worn by Russian troops during Russia's illegal and illegitimate seizure of Crimea, is a grave development."
Agence France-Presse, Reuters