Even as Vladimir Putin admitted that Xi Jinping had concerns about the war in Ukraine, the Russian leader’s comments on Taiwan may ultimately matter more to his Chinese counterpart.

During their first in-person talks since the Ukraine war began, Putin on Thursday blasted what he called "provocations by the U.S. and its satellites in the Taiwan Strait,” while reiterating support for Beijing’s "One China” principle.

Beijing’s statement on the call thanked Moscow for its position on the island while asserting that "no country is entitled to act as a judge on the Taiwan question.” The statement made no mention of Ukraine, where Russia’s military has suffered humiliating setbacks recently.