Putin: Relations between Russia, China 'at their best period in history'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed his country's relations with China, saying they are better than ever, during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan.

The talks took place on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization being held in the Kazakh capital of Astana on Wednesday.

Putin opened the talks, saying relations and strategic cooperation between Moscow and Beijing are experiencing "their best period in history." He said their cooperation is one of the major factors that will stabilize the international arena.

The Russian leader made a show of solidarity with China in the face of deepening confrontation with Europe and the United States over the situation in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry revealed that Xi expressed readiness to promote cooperation with Russia, saying China and Russia should continue to uphold their comprehensive partnership and oppose external interference.

Xi said both sides should jointly strive to maintain regional peace and stability.

He said China intends to actively pursue efforts to politically resolve key regional issues.

The remark underscored China's intention to engage on Ukraine from its own perspective, which is not that of a Western-led international order.

Beijing refrained from attending an international conference on peace in Ukraine held in June.

Following Wednesday's summit, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that regarding Ukraine, "the lack of perspectives of any formats without Russia's participation was stated clearly."