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Putin hails ex-Japanese PM’s contribution to relations with Russia

Vladimir Putin and Shinzo Abe met in person over 25 times and held about ten phone calls

MOSCOW, July 8. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has conveyed his condolences over the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a message to his mother and wife.

"A criminal has claimed the life of a prominent statesman who led the Japanese government over a long period of time and did a lot to boost good-neighborly relations between our countries," says the message published on the Kremlin website on Friday.

"I maintained regular contact with Shinzo, who consistently displayed his remarkable personal and professional qualities. The bright memory of this wonderful person will always remain in the hearts of all those who knew him. I wish you and your family members strength and courage in the face of this painful and irretrievable loss," Putin added.

Putin and Abe met in person over 25 times and held about ten phone calls. Their last meeting took place in the fall of 2019 and their last telephone conversation was held on August 31, 2020, when Putin called Abe to thank him for cooperation and his contribution to relations between the two countries. Abe, in turn, praised years-long constructive interaction with the Russian president.