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Putin Says Moscow, Beijing Are 'Natural Allies'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang for high-profile talks in Moscow.

Putin told Li at the Kremlin on October 14 that "we are natural partners, natural allies, we are neighbors."

The Russian president praised growing economic ties with China, expressing confidence that bilateral trade will reach $100 billion next year.

Li praised the "inexhaustible" potential for cooperation between Moscow and Beijing.

The two leaders spoke a day after Russian and Chinese officials signed more than 30 deals ranging from energy to banking.

Li's three-day visit to Russia comes amid a row between the Kremlin and the West over the crisis in Ukraine.

China and Russia have close economic and diplomatic links, and Beijing has said it won’t take sides with the West or Russia over Ukraine.

Based on reporting by AFP, TASS, and Interfax