MOSCOW, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Russia would be a landmark event in bilateral ties, a high-ranking Russian diplomat said Thursday.
"The visit will become a major event in our bilateral relations, and we have been preparing for it for a long time," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters at a media conference.
"In recent years, our relations have evolved into a strategic partnership, which has reached achievements in various fields," Ryabkov said, adding Moscow would "like to see this continuity fully preserved."
Russia highly appreciated the fact the newly elected Chinese president chose Russia for his first foreign trip.
Xi is due to visit Russia from March 22 to 24 at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The trip would include nearly 20 activities, including talks with Putin, meetings with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and other Russian leaders, and attending the opening ceremony for the Chinese Tourism Year in Russia, the ministry said.
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