Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak during a meeting on the sidelines of the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi on May 19, 2016. AFP photo.

SOCHI: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today held a bilateral meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asean-Russian Commemorative Summit here.

Top in the agenda of the meeting included enhancing trade and economic partnership, implementation of investment projects in energy sector, expansion of military technical cooperation and humanitarian ties between the two countries.

During the 30-minute meeting, which began at 3.45pm (8.45pm Malaysian time), the two leaders also touched on other areas of mutual concern between the two countries.

On Nov 21 last year, the two countries signed the Malaysia-Russia joint-commission for economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation.

The meeting was also both important and meaningful as the two countries are celebrating their 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations on April 3, next year.

Last year, following the global economic downturn, the two countries’ total trade stood at USD1.35 billion, a 51 per cent drop from 2014.

The number of tourists from Russia also dropped by 12 per cent last year to 54,263.

Najib arrived here yesterday to lead Malaysia’s delegation to the two-day summit, which ends tomorrow (May 20).

He was accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry.

Najib is also scheduled to hold his first bilateral meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who was sworn in into office in April, tomorrow (Friday).