Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government courted Beijing Wednesday before a BRICS summit, playing down a stock market plunge in China and proposing better terms for investors from Beijing.

Meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Russian city of Ufa, Putin, whose country needs investment to pull out of a downturn worsened by Western economic sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, called for solidarity and unity in bilateral ties.

“We are clearly aware of the difficulties we face, in both the economy and international politics,” Putin told Xi on the eve of the meeting of leaders from the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

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