The RFB is looking to organise fixtures with China ©Getty Images

The Russian Basketball Federation (RFB) is working on the possibility of playing fixtures against China's national teams.

RFB President Andrei Kirilenko is hoping that the Chinese squads will be able to help maintain the levels of the Russian squads.

The RFB has been banned from competition by the International Basketball Federation since March 1 2022 in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"Even before Xi [Jinping's] visit to Moscow, we discussed and continue to discuss our summer national teams," said former National Basketball Association All-Star Kirilenko, as reported by Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"It is too early to talk about specifics, but China is definitely in our plans, even if you look at the sports component.

"The men's team is at our level, and the women's team of China will be even stronger at the moment - they are the second in the world at the end of the last World Cup.

"So, of course, in terms of the level of basketball, we look at playing with them."

Last month, Russia's men's national team held friendly matches in Serbia with local clubs.

RFB President Andrei Kirilenko hopes China's teams can help maintain the standard of Russian sides ©Getty Images
RFB President Andrei Kirilenko hopes China's teams can help maintain the standard of Russian sides ©Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping joined his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in welcoming the International Olympic Committee's decision to explore pathways on the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes in sport.

The pair also condemned western nations for using sport for "unseemly purposes".

Russian and Chinese authorities have been exploring further opportunities to collaborate in sport since the former's exclusion from the global landscape.

Russia has proposed to hold the inaugural Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Games.

The SCO is a political, economic, security and defence group also involving India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

"Sports cooperation in the SCO region has rich potential and develops in the spirit of true partnership, mutual respect and absence of any form of discrimination," said Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin, as reported by Big News Network.

Russia also played a football match yesterday with another of its allies, Iran, as the two teams drew 1-1 in Tehran.