Asked about the “epitome of inter-governmental co-operation” between China and Russia, the Russian premier showered his “friend” Chinese President Xi Jinping wtih praise. Mr Putin then listed co-operative endeavours between the two nations, including “state of the art” weapons Russia has provided China and space exploration programmes.
Responding to the reporter from the state-owned Xinhua News Agency, Mr Putin said “there are no hidden pretexts here or subtexts” between China and Russia’s relationship.
He added how President Xi and he “call each other friends” and said “we have a good personal contact”. He hinted at the bi-lateral alliance Russia has formed with China over recent years.
He said this “confidence based” relationship helps Russia and China develop a raft of ties, including on business and development but, more concerningly, on military support and development.
Mr Putin said: “The Chinese army receives a lot of state-of-the-art Russian weaponry and we have been together designing high tech arms.”
He described how the superpowers “work in space, in aviation, both on aircraft and helicopters” as he noted the extent to which Russia is embedded in the Chinese military.
He also said Russia will continue “manoeuvres between our armies” and “participate in international combat games” with China as he attempted to back-up the allegiance.
President Putin said “this is an unparalleled strategic partnership” claiming the alliance “has no equal in global history”.
The reporter appeared to be grinning ear-to-ear as he revelled in the relationship his country has with Russia.
He added: “We cooperate in nuclear energy, in high-tech, in space exploration…
“We have been toiling in culture interaction, youth, science, education and culture.”
Mr Putin said this “knits us together” and brings Russia and China “closer to one another”.
The annual address to reporters ran for four hours on Thursday.