Xi applauds Putin re-election, hails 'best level' ties
Beijing, March 19: Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on his re-election, saying Beijing was willing to work with Moscow to bring ties to a "higher level". Vladimir Putin stormed to victory in Russia's presidential election, giving him another six years in power as Moscow's relations with the West plunge to new Cold War lows.
"Currently, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership is at the best level in history, which sets an example for building a new type of international relations," Xi said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Putin, who has ruled Russia for almost two decades, won more than 75 per cent of the vote according to preliminary results, but the opposition cried foul.
"I see in this (result) the confidence and hope of our people," Putin said in an address to crowds of supporters on a square next to the Kremlin after exit polls put him on track for a resounding victory.
"Our thoughts will turn to the future of our great country and the future of our children," said the man who is already Russia's longest-serving leader since Stalin.