MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for the decision of China’s government to transfer two pandas to the Moscow Zoo, noting that this move is a sign of special respect and confidence in Russia.
"I would like to thank Mr Xi Jinping and all Chinese colleagues for the transfer of two giant pandas to the Moscow Zoo. We know that there is hardly any such practice in China, and it is a sign of special respect and confidence in Russia and our specialists," Putin said after negotiations with his Chinese counterpart.
The state leader noted that when it comes to pandas, "it always evokes a smile." "We receive this gift with a special respect and gratitude. These animals are China’s national symbol, and we highly value this gesture of friendship," the president added.
He also said that he plans to "visit the zoo and see these wonderful animals" together with the Chinese president this evening.
Putin reiterated that culture and cinema festivals are taking place in Russia and China as part of the three-year program of humanitarian cooperation. About 2.2 million Russian tourists visited China and more than 1.7 million Chinese citizens visited Russia in 2018, he said.