Putin, Xi sign joint statement on deepening comprehensive strategic partnership

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have signed a joint statement on deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

The Russian leader arrived in Beijing on Thursday morning for a two-day state visit to China. This is Putin's first foreign trip since he started his fifth term on May 7.

Putin and Xi signed the statement after summit talks in the Chinese capital.

At a joint news conference, Xi noted that trade between China and Russia exceeded 240 billion dollars last year, marking an all-time high.

He said, "This is a good indication of the all-round cooperation of mutual benefit that continues to deepen between the two countries."

Regarding the situation in Ukraine, he stated, "The two sides believe that a political settlement is the right way forward."

The Chinese leader added that his country's position on the issue is consistent and clear, including "building a new security architecture that is balanced, effective and sustainable."

In response, Putin referred to the sharp increase in two-way trade and said their partnership serves as a model for how neighboring states should build ties.

At the beginning of the talks, Putin stressed that Russia and China will "stand up for the principles of justice and a democratic world order that reflects multipolar realities."

His remark expresses his intention to strengthen cooperation with China to build an international order that is not led by Western nations.

Putin earlier said that he would explain the situation in Ukraine to Xi. The two leaders are expected to move to another venue and discuss the issue further.