2019-12-30 19:14:00

Putin sends Christmas, New Year's greetings to European leaders

Moscow, December 30, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent Christmas and New Year's greetings to a number of European leaders.

In his greeting to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece, Putin said Russia expects "to continue working together to strengthen Russian-Greek relations based on the good traditions of friendship and spiritual closeness."

Greeting King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, the Russian leader said he hoped that "the coming year would open up new opportunities for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries."

In his message to President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy, Putin said that, "despite the difficult international situation, Russian-Italian relations continued to develop." He said he had warm recollections of their meetings in Rome and "looked forward to continuing joint work both on bilateral issues and on the international agenda."

In sending Christmas and New Year's greetings to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wishing him a happy birthday, Putin said he was confident that "the development of constructive, mutually respectful, bilateral cooperation in various fields is entirely in the interests of the peoples of Russia and Canada."

"In his message of greeting to Reigning Prince of Monaco Albert II, the President of Russia expressed hope that next year would be an auspicious one for Russia-Monaco relations and would open up new prospects for expanding mutually beneficial cooperation."

Addressing New Year's and Christmas greetings to Slovenian President Borut Pahor, Putin said, "Russian-Slovenian relations were based on traditions of friendship and spiritual kinship and expressed confidence that next year the joint work to develop mutually beneficial cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, culture and other areas would continue."

Sending greetings to President Sauli Niinisto of Finland, Putin mentioned their meetings in St. Petersburg and Helsinki in 2019 as ones that should help outline "ways to further promote Russian-Finnish ties in key areas." Putin also said "Russia highly valued its neighborly and mutually beneficial cooperation with Finland."

Greeting President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic of Croatia, Putin "noted the progressive development of Russian-Croatian cooperation and expressed confidence that the further promotion of bilateral relations fully complied with the interests of the two countries."

Sending Christmas and New Year's greetings to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Putin said, "the agreements reached following the meetings in Belgrade and Sochi opened up new prospects for bilateral cooperation in many areas." The Russian leader reiterated that he was "looking forward to seeing Aleksandar Vucic at celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War."

Greeting President Milos Zeman of the Czech Republic, Putin emphasized that his "participation in the events in Moscow to mark the 75th anniversary of the Victory over the Nazis will, of course, symbolize friendship and mutual respect between the Russian and Czech nations."

In a greeting to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Putin said the meeting between the two in St. Petersburg "reaffirmed the significant potential of Russian-Swedish relations" and expressed his confidence that "development of constructive bilateral cooperation would be in the interests of both nations and would promote prosperity and stability in northern Europe."