MOSCOW - Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Vladimir Putin on Monday that he was convinced the Russian people would support the Kremlin chief in a presidential election due in 2024.

"I know that next year there will be another presidential election in your country," Xi told Putin at the start of talks in the Kremlin.

"Thanks to your strong leadership, Russia has made significant progress in achieving the prosperity of the country in recent years. I am sure that the Russian people will strongly support you in your good endeavours."

Xi, whose words were translated into Russian, called Putin his "dear friend", and Putin used the same term to his guest.

Putin, who came to power on the last day of 1999 when Boris Yeltsin resigned, has not yet said whether or not he will run in 2024.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Mark Trevelyan)