MOSCOW, April 25 (Itar-Tass) - President Vladimir Putin has expressed condolences to Beijing in connection with numerous casualties as a result of a series of the recent earth tremors in China and underlined that Russian rescue services were ready to fly to China, Putin said upon completion of the call-in interview on Thursday.
"I once again express my condolences to all the families who lost their relatives, to all the people who have suffered in the quake," Putin said. "China is a great country, it will do maximum possible to help the people, which has been confirmed by the Chinese chairman who told me that that the Chinese leadership has been thinking how to help the population practically every hour, every minute," Putin said.
"We have agreed that should China need any additional help the Russian rescue services are on standby, ready to fly to China within three hours," Putin said.
"Russia will do everything in its power and in a maximum possible volume if our Chinese friends voice a corresponding request. As a minimum, we will also talk through the foreign ministries of the two countries like we did last time, and will invite children from the affected territories on vacation to Russia and think how we could help and give psychological support to families who suffered in the quake," Putin said.
An earthquake with a magnitude of seven points hit the province of Sichuan on Saturday. The quake, centered 111 kilometers northwest of the town of Leshan, killed 196; a total of 21 people were reported missing; more than 12,000 survivors suffered.
Rescue teams and servicemen have been working in the quake zone.