Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday amid rising tensions between Moscow and the West.

The meeting between the two heads of state marked Bolsonaro’s first trip to Russia, the timing of which was questioned by both Brazilian and US officials alike, given the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

Putin and Bolsonaro held a meeting in the Kremlin, with photos showing the two presidents sitting in close proximity of each other with a small table in between.

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After the meeting, Putin described his talks with his Brazilian counterpart to be “thorough” and “constructive” and described the relationship between the two countries as one characterised by “friendship and mutual understanding.”

“Russia and Brazil are traditionally united by relations of friendship and mutual understanding. The strategic partnership between our countries covers a variety of areas. We jointly strive to develop political, economic and humanitarian ties, we closely cooperate on the international stage,” said the Russian President.

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Bolsonaro echoed Putin’s comments, saying that Russia and Brazil “share common values, such as the belief in God and the defense of family. Also, we are in solidarity with all those countries that want and that commit themselves to peace.”

The Kremlin, meanwhile, published a joint statement after Putin’s meeting with Bolsonaro, saying that the talks “underscored their determination to strengthen strategic partnership, deepen political dialogue, raise the level of bilateral relations based on respect for sovereignty, international law and the principles of the rule of law shared by both countries.”

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However, neither Putin nor Bolsonaro made any comment on the situation in Ukraine in their opening addresses or post-meeting news conferences, despite claims by the West about Russia’s planned invasion of the country.

While Russia has officially said that it is withdrawing troops from Crimea from what it described as military drills, the US, NATO, and other Western nations have claimed that Moscow has yet to deliver on its claims of a troop withdrawal.

The Ukraine crisis has been unfolding over several weeks and Russia reportedly still has more than 100,000 troops along the Ukraine border. While the West believes that the amassed forces signal an impending invasion, Russia says it merely wants security guarantees from the US and its NATO allies and has no intention of invading its neighbour.