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Russian, Chinese leaders to attend ceremony of handing 2 pandas over to Moscow Zoo

The Russian presidential aide pointed out that the Chinese party attaches great importance to this event

MOSCOW, June 4. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the official ceremony of the Chinese government handing two giant pandas over to the Moscow Zoo, following the talks in the Kremlin, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters.

"The leaders will take part in the ceremony of the giant pandas’ handover," the Kremlin representative said. He pointed out that the Chinese party attaches great importance to this event. "A special pavilion will be opened, and the leaders will join the ceremony," Ushakov clarified.

Moreover, in the evening of June 5, the leaders of Russia and China will attend a ceremonial concert in the famous Bolshoi Theater, marking the 70th anniversary since the diplomatic ties between the countries were established, the presidential aide said.

Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that pandas named Ru Yi and Ding Ding left their home province of Sichuan on April 29 and are now perfectly accommodated in the Moscow Zoo.

The giant panda, a rare animal listed in the IUCN Red List, is China’s unofficial symbol. As of late 2013, a total of 1,864 giant pandas lived in the wild in China. They mostly inhabit the mountainous forests of Sichuan, feeding on bamboo shoots that grow there in abundance.