Putin, Xi agree to boost economic, military cooperation

Russia's presidential office says President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have confirmed their commitment to deepen economic and military cooperation.

The two leaders had a phone conversation on Wednesday.

The presidential office said Putin and Xi agreed to expand cooperation in energy, finance and other areas, as the global economic situation has become "more complicated due to the illegitimate sanctions policy pursued by the West."

The two also discussed the further development of military and defense ties.

The presidential office said Putin explained his "principled assessment of the situation in Ukraine," adding that Xi noted the "legitimacy" of Moscow's actions to protect fundamental national interests.

China's Foreign Ministry quoted Xi as saying that China has always made judgments on the Ukraine issue independently based on the historical background and has promoted world peace and the stability of the global economic order.

Xi said all parties should push for an appropriate solution to the Ukrainian crisis in a responsible manner. He went on to say that China is willing to continue to play its due role in this regard.

The two leaders last met in the Chinese capital on February 4, on the day of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

They spoke over the phone on February 25, immediately after Russian forces began invading Ukraine.