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Putin vows to cherish Raisi’s memory

On May 19, a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crash-landed in Iran's East Azerbaijan province

MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his sympathies to the relatives of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash.

"I had the opportunity to meet Ebrahim Raisi on several occasions, and I will forever have fond memories of this remarkable man. Please convey my sincere condolences and support to the family and friends of the late president and to all those who lost their lives in this terrible disaster. I wish them and the entire Iranian people strength in the face of such a terrible and irreparable loss," the message posted on the Kremlin website said.

On May 19, a helicopter carrying Raisi crash-landed in Iran's East Azerbaijan province. The country’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and a number of other Iranian officials were also on board.

Putin and Raisi last met in person in Moscow on December 7, 2023, and participated in an online BRICS summit in November. Before that, they met in September 2022 in Samarkand on the sidelines of the SCO summit. At that time, the presidents noted, among other things, that cooperation between Moscow and Tehran was developing in all areas and that their positions on many international issues were close or coincided.

The Russian and Iranian presidents had spoken twice over the phone since the beginning of this year, most recently on April 16.

Since Raisi took office in the summer of 2021, he and Putin have had a total of five face-to-face meetings, including exchanges on the sidelines of international events, as well as numerous telephone conversations.