Putin says ties with China ‘best in history’ as Ukraine war drags on

Moscow, Dec 30 (EFE).- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that the current ties with China were the “best in history” during a virtual meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in the midst of a protracted conflict in Ukraine.

In opening remarks telecast by Russian TV, Putin told Xi that the bilateral ties had withstood all tests and demonstrated “maturity and stability” and would “continue to expand dynamically.”

“As you and I noted earlier, these ties are the best in history and represent a model of cooperation between major powers in the 21st century,” Putin said.

The Russian leader stressed that the “intensive bilateral exchanges will continue” in the coming year.

“I have no doubt that we will also find an opportunity to meet with you in person. We look forward to your state visit to Moscow next spring,” Putin told Xi, calling him “Mr. Chairman, dear friend.”

He said the possible visit would “demonstrate to the world the strength of Russia-China ties on key issues and become the main political event of the year in bilateral relations.”

He said the ties between the two “guarantee the security of our countries and maintaining stability in key regions.”

“We aim to strengthen cooperation between the Russian and Chinese armed forces,” Putin said.

On economic ties, Putin said despite the “unfavorable external situation, illegitimate restrictions and direct blackmail by some Western countries, Russia and China managed to ensure a record high growth rate of mutual trade turnover.”

“At the end of the year, it will increase by about 25 percent. If we maintain these dynamics, we will be able to reach the $200 billion target we set for ourselves in 2024 ahead of schedule.”

He said the two countries were working together to create new hydrocarbon production and processing facilities.

Putin and Xi last met in person in September in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

The bilateral connections have grown stronger in recent months after the two sides agreed to a “no limits” strategic partnership earlier this year.

The two nations have conducted multiple rounds of joint military exercises, including naval exercises in the East China Sea earlier this week.

China has increased its energy imports from Russia, helping to offset a broad Western sanctions campaign against Moscow. EFE


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