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Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping closed ranks against the U.S. and its allies on key security issues as they declared that there’s no limit and “no forbidden zones” in the friendship between Russia and China.

At their first in-person meeting in more than two years Friday, Putin and Xi said in a joint statement that China “treats with understanding and supports” Russia’s demand for binding security guarantees from the U.S. and NATO in the standoff over Ukraine, and backs Moscow in opposing expansion of the Western military alliance.

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