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Russia, China to maintain fight against terrorism, Lavrov says

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Russia and China will continue to cooperate in the fight against terrorism as part of their ever-strengthening relationship, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Beijing on Tuesday after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

"I thank the Chinese side for their condolences in connection with the terrorist attack in the Moscow region on March 22 of this year, for supporting Russia's fight against terrorism," Russian news agencies cited Lavrov as saying.

Militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting at a concert venue near Moscow where at least 144 people died, but Russia, without providing evidence, has said it believes Ukraine was behind the attack, reports Reuters.

"Our cooperation on counter-terrorism will continue, including within the framework of multilateral institutions," Lavrov said.

Moscow and Beijing declared a "no limits" partnership in February 2022 when Putin visited Beijing just days before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and have firm their ties since.

Lavrov, in Beijing on an official visit, also thanked China for sending a group of observers to Russia's presidential election in March, which President Vladimir Putin won by a record post-Soviet landslide.

"Thanks to our leaders, Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction have reached an unprecedented level," Lavrov said.

"And with the re-election of Vladimir Putin, the continuity of their comprehensive strengthening has, of course, received additional guarantees."

Moscow had said that talks between Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart would cover "hot topics" such as the security of the Asia-Pacific region and the war in Ukraine.

Reuters reported last month that Putin will travel to China in May for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in what could be the first overseas trip of his new presidential term.

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