"Moscow-Beijing tandem" plays "a key role" in ensuring global and regional stability, Russian President Vladimir Putin tells his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted attempts to create a "unipolar world" and praised China's "balanced" approach to Ukraine, as he met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan.
Holding their first in-person talks since the start of the Ukraine conflict, Putin took a clear broadside at the United States, saying: "Attempts to create a unipolar world have recently acquired an absolutely ugly form and are completely unacceptable."
Putin said that the "Moscow-Beijing tandem" plays "a key role" in ensuring global and regional stability, Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported.
"We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukrainian crisis," Putin told Xi.
"We understand your concerns," Putin said, without specifying what issues China may have raised about Ukraine.
"For our part, we adhere to the principle of one China. We condemn the provocation of the US and their satellites in the Taiwan Strait," Putin said.
Putin called for the "global strengthening of the SCO" and said he was sure Thursday's meeting would help in "strengthening the Russian-Chinese partnership."
Xi told his Russian counterpart that Beijing was willing to work with Moscow to support each other's "core interests".
"China is willing to work with Russia to strongly support issues concerning each other's core interests, and deepen practical cooperation on trade, agriculture, connectivity and other fields," Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported Xi as saying.
Putin and Xi sat across from each other at the centres of two long rounded tables, flanked by their delegations on either side, as they met on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the Uzbek city of Samarkand.
They appeared to be the only two of the about two dozen people in the room not wearing face masks.
Putin also met Thursday with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, whose country is on track to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Raisi said Moscow and Tehran were finalising a major treaty that would bring their relations to a “strategic level.”
He and Putin both criticised the US at the start of their meeting. Raisi accused the US of breaching its obligations under Iran's nuclear deal with world powers.
Putin gibed American officials, saying “They are masters of their word - they give it and then take it back whenever they want.”
Putin is also scheduled to meet one-on-one with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan.
Turkey and Azerbaijan have the status of “dialogue partners” with the SCO.