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MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent congratulations to leaders of a number of post-Soviet countries on the occasion of the New Year and the forthcoming Eastern Orthodox Christmas, which is observed on January 7.
The Kremlin press service said Putin sent the messages to the Presidents of Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and South Ossetia. Ukraine was not on the list.
In a letter to President Raul Khadjimba of Abkhazia, Putin praised the active buildup of Russian-Abkhazian relations in the spirit of alliance and strategic partnership. He voiced confidence over the future strengthening of bilateral trade, cooperation in science and humanitarian affairs, and efficient collaboration in the field of regional security.
Putin stressed "the durability of Russian-Azerbaijani strategic partnership and said he believed in the continuation of an intensive political dialogue" in a letter to Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan. Specifically, he underlined the importance of consolidating peace and security in the South Caucasus and in the Caspian Sea area.
The Russian President spoke highly of Armenia’s input into integration processes in the format of the Eurasian Economic Union, Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). "The sides will continue joint efforts to build up cooperation and coordination in the political sphere, trade, science, humanitarian affairs, and in the solution of pressing international issues," he said in a letter to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
Putin greeted President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus on the New Year and Christmas, as the majority of Belarusians are disciples of the Russian Orthodox Church and mark the Nativity of Christ on January 7 in accordance with the ‘Old Style’ Julian calendar.
"He confirmed the topmost significance of Russian-Belarusian friendship and added that the outgoing year had seen successful resolution of pressing bilateral issues and had given a new impetus to the construction of the Union State in spite of the generally complicated international situation," the Kremlin press service said.
"Putin also expressed the hope for continued joint efforts to augment the entire range of Russian-Belarusian partnership ties," it said.
His letter to President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan reaffirmed Moscow’s genuine interest in building up fruitful international cooperation for the benefit of the two countries’ peoples and all other nations in Europe and Asia.
"Putin assessed highly the pace, at which the Russian-Kazakhstani strategic partnership was developing," the report said. "He pointed out the efforts to improve the integration mechanisms in the framework of the priority joint project, the Eurasian Economic Union."
Alongside with congratulations to President Almazbek Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan, Putin noted achievements in the promotion of mutually beneficial integration processes on the Eurasian space and spoke definitively about a future consolidation of Russian-Kyrgyzstani relations in the interests of security and stability in Central Asia.
In a letter to Moldovan President Igor Dodon, Putin underlined fair opportunities that the coming year offered in terms of joint work for strengthening Russian-Moldovan ties in the interests of Russians and Moldovans, stability and security in the region, the report said.
Putin noted considerable steps forwards in relations between Russia and Turkmenistan in a letter to the Turkmenistani President, Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow. "He also said he hoped for a broader bilateral political dialogue, fruitful cooperation in various areas, and collaboration in the international arena."
The outgoing year highlighted the perennial character of Russian-Tajikistani strategic relations of partnership and alliance, Putin wrote in a letter to President Emomali Rakhmon of Tajikistan. He stressed his confidence in a further active collaboration in the interests of the friendly peoples of Russia and Tajikistan.
Putin said in a letter to Uzbekistani President Shavkat Mirziyoyev political contacts between the two countries were expanding and their strategic partnership had a promising future. He said he hoped for close cooperation in the name of peace, security and stability in Central Asia.
In the letter of President Leonid Tibilov of South Ossetia, Putin praised the efforts to implement provisions of the Russian-South Ossetian treaty on allied relations and integration that were made in the outgoing year.