Putin and  Xi Jinping
© RIA Novosti / Alexey Druzhinin
Vladimir Putin has delighted Xi Jinping, it seems, by giving him a stunning set of birthday gifts, one of which is said to be his favorite. That didn't leave the Chinese leader unimpressed, as he generously responded in kind.

Putin congratulated Xi on his 66th birthday while in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, wishing him "best of luck," warmly shaking his hand and saying: "I'm glad to have such a friend like you." He then teased his Chinese counterpart with "something that you could use when celebrating your birthday with your loved-ones."

The birthday cake came first, with Xi promptly noticing the Chinese inscription on it that read: "Great wellbeing." 66 "is a lucky number," Xi noted.

Putin and Xi Jinping
© RIA Novosti / Alexey Druzhinin
That piece of pastry was followed by a luxury vase, lavishly decorated by Russian craftsmen. Putin called it "The Sunny Day" and likened it to the summer weather in the Tajik capital.

Proceeding with the gift-giving ceremony, Putin offered the Chinese president a sizable box of Russian ice-cream - the one that has once won Xi's heart and palate. "That's the most delicious one," the Chinese leader responded, with a smile.

Putin and Xi
© RIA Novosti / Alexey Druzhinin
Xi had once confessed that he loves Russian sundae cups, telling the media that he always asks for the ice-cream every time he visits Russia. "You have the best cream, and it makes it so tasty. I like it very much," he said back in 2016.

Xi then did the reverse, showing Putin a blue tea kettle - reminiscent of the Russian samovar - and a selection of Chinese teas. "I'll try it too," Putin said, before offering him a sip of wine.