BEIJING (NEWSnet/AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met Thursday, reaffirming a “no-limits” partnership as both countries face deepening tensions with the West.

Putin’s two-day state visit to one of his strongest allies comes as his country’s forces are pressing an offensive in northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region in the most significant border incursion since the full-scale invasion began.

China has backed Moscow’s contentions that Russia was provoked into attacking Ukraine by the West, and continues to supply Russia with key components that Moscow needs for its productions of weapons.

A joint statement after Putin and Xi met said that both sides believe that for “a sustainable settlement of the Ukrainian crisis it is necessary to eliminate its root causes.”

Before their remarks, the two leaders signed a joint statement on deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between their two nations on their 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties, after their initial meeting.

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