After beginning his fifth term in office, Russian President Vladimir Putin is traveling to China on his first foreign visit. The Kremlin chief is expected in Beijing on Thursday, May 16, at the invitation of President Xi Jinping, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported.

The visit lasts until Friday (May 17th). The fact that China is Putin’s first foreign destination underscores the close relationship between the two nuclear powers and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Since Moscow’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the West’s sanctions, Russia has been isolated internationally. China has not yet condemned the attack and maintains a neutral stance towards the outside world, with Beijing supporting its long-standing partner. Putin’s last official state visit to China was almost six years ago.