Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message of congratulations to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, commending his re-election into a historic third term.
In the letter, Putin called Xi his “friend,” and lauded the two nations’ “strategic cooperation” and “fruitful” relationship.
“Dear friend, please accept sincere congratulations on the occasion of your reelection,” Putin said in the statement released by the Kremlin on Friday.
“Russia highly values your personal contribution toward the strengthening of ties… and strategic cooperation between our nations,” Putin wrote.
Xi won his third five-year term as president Friday, following a vote by the country’s mostly ceremonial legislature.
“I am certain that working together, we will ensure the development of fruitful Russian-Chinese cooperation in all sorts of different areas,” the letter continues. “We will continue to coordinate joint work on the most important regional and international issues.”
The message ends with a wish of good health and prosperity in the coming years.
The National People’s Congress voted 2,952 to 0 to re-elect Xi, who is 69, putting him on track to stay in power for life.
Xi’s victory was a foregone conclusion as he has sidelined potential rivals and filled the top ranks of the ruling Communist Party with his own supporters since he first rose to power in 2012.
In tandem with the presidency extension, Xi was unanimously named commander of the People’s Liberation Army, the formal name for China’s military.
Fox News’ Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.