President Vladimir Putin said on a visit to Beijing Wednesday that the growing number of world conflicts and threats "strengthen" ties between Moscow and Beijing.

Putin's trip to China came almost 20 months into his Ukraine offensive and as the conflict between Israel and Hamas intensified.

"All these outside factors are common threats and they strengthen Russian-Chinese cooperation," Putin said in a rare press conference in Beijing.

He added that he has "optimism" for the future of the relationship.

Beijing is a key partner for Moscow, shunned by the West over its Ukraine offensive.

Putin and Xi held talks earlier on Wednesday, with the Russian leader being the guest of honor at China's Belt and Road forum.

Putin told reporters that he had informed the Chinese leader on "the situation that is forming on the Ukrainian track, in quite a detailed way."

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Putin said the pair first met with their delegations, before holding "eye to eye" talks alone.

He said Xi had "suggested that we be alone, and we spoke eye to eye. That's how it was, over a cup of tea."

"We spoke maybe about an hour and a half, maybe two hours."

Xi visited Moscow in March this year.

It is the Russian leader's first trip outside the former Soviet Union since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him in March.

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