Vladimir Putin Xi Jinping
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands.Reuters

hina has offered to help Russia weather the economic storm that has decimated the value of the ruble and the country's exports, due to the falling price of oil.

The ruble has lost around 40% of its value this year, making it one of the world's worst performing currencies.

Moreover, a dramatic drop in oil prices since the summer has dealt a major blow to Russia's economy. The Kremlin relies on oil sales for around two thirds of its overall export revenues, and oil revenues are used to fund around half of the state budget.

With much of the developed world freezing Moscow out, due to its role in the Ukraine crisis, China is willing to assist Vladimir Putin's government should it require outside assistance, according to the foreign ministry spokesman Wang Yi.

"If the Russian side needs, we will provide necessary assistance within our capacity," said Wang, as cited by the state-linked newspaper China Daily.

China and Russia have close economic and political ties. They signed a multibillion dollar energy deal earlier this year, which would see Beijing importing Russian gas for 30 years. As part of the deal, the two sides also resolved a border dispute

On the diplomatic front, China has remained quiet regarding Russia's annexation of Crimea and role in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The United States and the European Union adopted fresh sanctions against Crimea last week, targeting Russian oil exploration in the region, as well as individuals and tourism.