Chinese President Xi Jinping presented two pandas to Moscow's zoo at a ceremony with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, in a gesture the Russian president described as a sign of deepening trust and respect between the two powers.
Xi unveiled the pandas – Ru Yi and Ding Ding – after talks with Putin, whom he called his "best friend", at the start of a three-day visit that will see him attend Russia's flagship economic forum in St Petersburg later this week.
The pandas, who could be seen chomping bamboo as Xi and Putin arrived, will living in a specially built enclosure. Beijing has loaned them to Moscow for 15 years as part of a joint research project.
The pandas were given to Russia at the end of April after Putin visited Beijing, but were only unveiled to the public on Wednesday.