President Putin's message says, in part:
"Russian relations with New Zealand rest on traditions of friendship and mutually lucrative partnership. My country remembers what New Zealand's navy did for the Allied victory over nazism as, during World War II, its sailors were active in the Arctic Convoys. Symbolically, our bilateral diplomatic relations were established those years.
"We are glad to see progress of Russian contacts with New Zealand, made within the preceding years. I am sure we have every chance to step up bilateral partnership in many spheres, and extend our team efforts in regional affairs."