Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Russian-Chinese relations on Sunday, “at the highest point” in their history, expressing his “great expectations” of talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the eve of his visit to Russia. “Russian-Chinese relations have reached the highest point in their history and continue to grow stronger,” Vladimir Putin said in an article written for a Chinese newspaper and published by the Kremlin.

The quality of ties between Moscow and Beijing is “superior to that of Cold War-era political and military unions”, he said. In relations between Moscow and Beijing, “there are no limits, nor forbidden subjects”, according to the master of the Kremlin. “Our political dialogue is frank to the fullest, as our strategic cooperation has become comprehensive and is entering a new era,” he said.

“It is China relations that are the cornerstone of regional and global stability today, spur economic growth and serve as a guarantor of a positive agenda in international affairs,” he said. “We have great expectations of the upcoming talks” with Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin said, stressing that he had “no doubt that they will give a powerful new impetus to the whole of bilateral cooperation”.

According to the Russian president, the meeting with Xi Jinping, expected Monday in Moscow for a three-day visit, will also be an opportunity for him to “see a good old friend” with whom he has the “warmest relations”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also praised China’s “willingness to play a constructive role in resolving” the conflict in Ukraine, with Beijing seeking to establish itself as a mediator between Moscow and Kyiv. “We welcome China’s willingness to play a constructive role in resolving the crisis” in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said in an article written for a Chinese newspaper and published by the Kremlin, on the eve of a visit to Russia of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

He said he was “grateful” to China for its “balanced” position on “events in Ukraine”, for its “understanding of their prehistory and their real reasons”. “Russia is open to a settlement of the Ukrainian crisis by politico-diplomatic means,” assured the Russian leader.

He insisted, however, on Kiev’s recognition of “new geopolitical realities”, namely the annexation last fall of four Ukrainian regions, as well as that of Crimea in 2014. “Unfortunately, ultimatums with regard to the Russia testify that (their authors, editor’s note) are far from these realities and have no interest in seeking a solution, “he said.