MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday that he is glad to congratulate his Chinese counterpart personally on his re-election to another term of office.
"Dear Mr. President, dear friend, welcome to Russia, to Moscow. I am glad to have an opportunity to congratulate you personally on your re-election as China’s president. It has become possible thanks to the fact that the Chinese people and its representatives see the true value of your work during the past decade," Putin said welcoming Xi.
The Russian president noted the symbolic nature of the fact that Xi had paid his first visit as China’s president to Russia ten years ago. "We have taken big steps in the development of our relations over this time," Putin stressed.
Xi arrived on a state visit to Russia earlier on Monday and will stay in the capital until March 22. Russia is the first country Xi has visited since being re-elected as China’s president on March 10. A state visit is assigned the highest status under the diplomatic protocol.