Russian leader says he expects his Chinese counterpart to make a state visit soon to publicly show Beijing's solidarity amid Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he was expecting Chinese President Xi Jinping to make a state visit early next year, in what would be a public show of closer ties between Moscow and Beijing.
In effusive introductory remarks from a video conference on Friday between the two leaders broadcast on state television, Putin also said he aimed to strengthen military cooperation with China.
"We are expecting you, dear Mr Chairman, dear friend, we are expecting you next spring on a state visit to Moscow," Putin told Xi.
"This will demonstrate to the whole world the strength of Russian-Chinese ties on key issues."
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said no date had yet been set for Xi's visit.
In February, the two men had signed a "no limits" strategic partnership, informed by their shared distrust of the West, a few days before Russia sent its armed forces into Ukraine in what it terms a "special military operation".
Putin told Xi on Friday: "You and I share the same views on the causes, course and logic of the ongoing transformation of the global geopolitical landscape, in the face of unprecedented pressure and provocations from the West."
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Russian President Vladimir Putin invites his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to visit over next few months, as leaders spoke via video call pic.twitter.com/z2OFkdwpUw— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) December 30, 2022
Since European countries cut links with Russia over the attacks, Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia as China's top crude supplier.
On Friday, Russia's Finance Ministry doubled the maximum possible share of Chinese yuan in its National Wealth Fund (NWF) to 60 percent as Moscow tries to end dependency on "unfriendly" nations including the United States, European Union members, Britain and Japan.
Moscow has also publicly backed Xi's position on Taiwan and accused the West of trying to provoke a conflict over the status of the self-governing island, which China claims as its own.
However, Xi has at times appeared cool on Russia's attacks on Ukraine.
China has refrained from condemnation, instead stressing the need for peace, but Putin in September publicly acknowledged that his Chinese counterpart had "concerns" over Russia's actions.
Beijing has been careful not to provide direct material support for the attacks that could provoke Western sanctions against China.
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