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Russian Security Council Touts 'Further Military Cooperation' With China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a regional security gathering in Uzbekistan on September 15.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a regional security gathering in Uzbekistan on September 15.

The Russian Security Council claimed on September 19 that Moscow and Beijing had agreed on "further military cooperation" with a focus on exercises and senior contacts.

The statement from Moscow follows a meeting last week where President Vladimir Putin was forced to publicly acknowledge Chinese concerns over his ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its repercussions around the world.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Chinese of the Russian Security Council's announcement.

"The sides agreed on further military cooperation with a focus on joint exercises and patrols, as well as on strengthening contacts between the [respective] general staffs," the Russian security body said.

The Russian Security Council's secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, is currently on a visit to China for consultations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has avoided condemning the Russian invasion of its smaller post-Soviet neighbor, which came within weeks of a meeting at which he and Putin pledged a Sino-Russian friendship with "no limits."

But he has urged "restraint" and said at their first meeting since the Ukraine invasion began in late February that Beijing is ready to play a leading role in bringing the world to the stable development path.

At the regional security gathering in Uzbekistan on September 15, Putin responded: "We highly value the balanced position of our Chinese friends when it comes to the Ukraine crisis."

He added, "We understand your questions and concern about this."

With unprecedented international sanctions targeting Russia, Beijing's support is widely seen as essential for Moscow, which needs markets for its energy exports and sources to import high-tech goods.

Based on reporting by Reuters

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