By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Thursday sent New Year’s messages to over 50 world leaders, including Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Russia and Turkey have “done much in recent times to develop bilateral ties, primarily in the trade, economic, energy and military-technical areas,” Putin said in his message to the Turkish president.
He said there are good prospects for Russian-Turkish collaboration in peaceful space exploration and production of COVID-19 vaccines, expressing confidence that the two countries will “further develop their productive cooperation and close partnership in international affairs.”
In his message to US President Joe Biden, Putin stressed that Moscow and Washington “could and should interact constructively, combining efforts to respond to the numerous challenges and threats facing humanity.”
“I am confident that, following up on our agreements reached during the June summit in Geneva and subsequent meetings, we can move forward and establish an effective Russian-American dialogue based on mutual respect and consideration for each other’s national interests,” he said.
To China’s President Xi Jinping, Putin said interaction between Moscow and Beijing this year was “exceedingly productive” as “a dynamic political dialogue continued at all levels.”
Bilateral trade was “up at an all-time high” and there was “effective coordination of efforts in addressing key items on the regional and international agenda,” he added.
He expressed confidence that Russia and China would expand “the entire range of bilateral ties” and fully implement a new joint project called the Year of Cooperation in Physical Fitness and Sports.
“I have no doubt that our Chinese friends will make sure that the Winter Olympic Games are a success. I look forward to our meeting at the opening ceremony of this sports festival,” the Russian president said.
In a message to the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Putin called for developing bilateral relations based on “equality and mutual respect.”
This, he asserted, would help “meet the fundamental interests of the peoples of the two countries and contribute to strengthening stability and security in Europe and the rest of the world.”
Other leaders to whom the Russian president sent messages included UN chief Antonio Guterres, Pope Francis, and several former heads of foreign states and governments, including Japan’s Shinzo Abe, the US’ George W. Bush and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.