Moscow, 17 April 2023 (TDI): The Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday to strengthen defense cooperation.

Li Shangfu also met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

This is the first visit by a Chinese Defense Minister to Russia after Russia launched its “special military operation” against the alleged neo-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists. the trip will last until 19 April.

The Russian President held a working meeting with the Chinese defense minister, the Press Secretary of Russian President Dimitry Peskov said.

The meeting between the Russian President and the Chinese Defense Minister is taking place after President Xi Jinping visited Moscow in March. Cooperation between the Defense Ministers of both countries was also a topic of the discussion. During the meeting the two leaders hailed the new era in their relationship.

After the meeting the President Putin hailed the defense cooperation between Russia and China as “successful and comprehensive”. He further said  that the defense sphere is another areas to strengthen the trust-based and strategic relations between the two countries.

Also read: China and Russia strengthen Strategic Partnership

The Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu said that ties between China and Russia have surpassed the political-military alliance during the Cold War, in translated remarks broadcast by Russian TV.

China and Russia have vowed to increase defense cooperation and have conducted joint military drills in areas such as the Europe, Pacific, Gulf of Oman, Indian Ocean and involved all ground, naval and air forces. Notable among them was the large scale Vostok-2022 in the Russian Far East and the sea of Japan.

Russia and China have become more close since the start of the Ukraine war.

During the visit to Moscow President Xi told Putin that “Right now there are changes – the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years – and we are the ones driving these changes together”