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President Vladimir Putin said he’s waiting for his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to visit Russia as he hailed deepening ties with Beijing at talks with China’s top diplomat.

Cooperation between Russia and China is “very important for stabilizing the international situation,” Putin told Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi at talks in Moscow on Wednesday, asking him to pass on greetings to “my friend” Xi. Russia and China are reaching “new milestones” including in trade, which may grow to $200 billion sooner than their goal of 2024, Putin said.

“The current international situation is indeed critical and complex but the relationship between China and Russia is solid as a mountain and can stand the test of international risks,” Wang replied, adding that the “strategic” ties between Moscow and Beijing won’t be subject to pressure from any third parties.

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