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MOSCOW, April 29. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin is expected to meet on Thursday with Canada’s former Prime Minister Jean-Loup Chretien, the presidential press secretary, Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
He said Putin and Chretien have been keeping up warm relations even after the Canadian Prime Minister left his post.
"We know Mr. Chretien is making what we believe to be a private visit and he will be received for a brief conversation," Peskov said.
"Also, it’s well known that they (Putin and Chretien - TASS) have long-standing relations," he said. "I’d even call their relations of partnership."
"When Chretien was Prime Minister, they met frequently enough, held talks and exchanged visits and hence a tradition of maintaining this relationship," Peskov said.
"Putin mostly meets with his former partners when they happen to be in Moscow," he said.
Jean-Loup Chretien stood at the head of the Canadian government from 1993 through to 2003.
He says he has long-time relations with Russia, as he made a trip to Siberia in 1970 when he was Minister of Northern Development back at home.
After that, Chretien cooperated very closely with Russia’s first post-Soviet President and with Vladimir Putin. When the Russian authorities awarded with the Order of Friendship to him in 2014, he said says he was always content with the way the Canadian-Russian relations were developing
His current meeting with President Putin will take place against the background of a considerable cooling-off in relations between Russia and Western countries, as Canada is one of the countries that joined all the Western sanctions against Russia over what the Western powers describe as "Russia’s role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine."
Also on Thursday, Putin is expected to have a number of other working meetings and a conference with permanent members of Russia’s Security Council.