World leaders are congratulating Vladimir Putin on his election for a new...

World leaders are congratulating Vladimir Putin on his election for a new six-year term as Russian president.

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Presidential candidate, President Vladimir Putin meets with the media at his campaign headquarters in Moscow on March 18, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Sergei CHIRIKOV

Mosco(SONNA) Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country’s partnership with Russia was at its “best level in history”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to congratulate Mr Putin soon but no other Western leaders have yet done so, amid tensions over the poisoning of an ex-spy in the UK.

Mr Putin got more than 76% of the vote, official results show.

He said he was considering changes to his government, including the post of prime minister.

Former President Dmitry Medvedev has held the post since he changed places in 2012 with Mr Putin, who has ruled the country as either president or prime minister since 1999.

The main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race.

In a congratulatory message to Mr Putin, China’s Mr Xi said: “Currently, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership is at the best level in history, which sets an example for building a new type of international relations.”

The leaders of Iran, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba were among others who also sent their best wishes.