07:36 GMT +322 January 2018
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual question and answer session

    Putin Sends New Year Greetings to World Leaders, Public Figures

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    The Russian president has congratulated a number of world leaders and prominent public figures in his New-Year greetings, setting new goals for the development of Russia's ties with other states, Kremlin press service has reported.

    France and Japan

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his hope that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Emmanuel Macron would pay visits to Russia in the coming year.

    "In a congratulatory message addressed to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Vladimir Putin noted that he expected him to attend the opening ceremony of [Russia-Japan] cross years in Moscow in May next year and the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum," the statement said.

    READ MORE: Putin, Macron Reaffirm Support of Iran Nuclear Deal in Phone Talks

    Putin noted with satisfaction that Russian-Japanese relations had recently intensified on a number of aspects, including political dialogue and inter-parliamentary ties.

    According to the Kremlin press service, in a separate congratulation message to Macron, Putin indicated that he expected his visit to Russia.

    "Our meeting at Versailles and phone consultations have helped to discuss many pressing issues relating to bilateral cooperation as well as key international problems in detail. I hope to continue the constructive dialogue and joint work with you in order to strengthen Russian-French ties. I am looking forward to your visit to Russia," Putin said, as quoted in the statement.

    Vatican

    In his address to Pope Francis, the Russian president expressed the hope to continue constructive cooperation, "in order to protect peace, universal values and to strengthen intercivilizational and interreligios dialogue."

    Putin also wished Pope Francis good health, prosperity and success in his noble work.

    United States, Germany & United Kingdom

    The Russian president has also expressed hope for improvement of the relations with the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and further cooperation with China, South Korea, and Turkey.

    "In current difficult international situation a constructive Russian-US dialogue is especially in demand for strengthening of strategic stability in the world and finding optimal responses to challenges and threats," Putin said in the letter, as quoted by the Kremlin's press service.

    In a congratulatory note to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier the Russian president expressed hope that the two countries would be able to reach a progress in solving the issues on bilateral, regional and international agenda, which could serve the interests of both nations and ensure security and stability in Europe.

    Putin also expressed hope for the improvement of Russia-UK relations in the New-Year greetings to Queen Elizabeth II and UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

    While congratulating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Putin noted the progress in bilateral cooperation.

    Israel

    In an address to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Putin expressed hope for "further joint work on strengthening bilateral cooperation in political, trade and economic, humanitarian and other areas, including efforts in ensuring stability and security in the Middle East."

    READ MORE: Finishing Extremism Off: Analyst Explains What US, Israel Can't Forgive Iran For

    Belarus

    Putin congratulated his Belarusian counterpart on the New Year and expressed confidence in further development of cooperation within various organizations. He has also expressed hope for "strengthening of ties within the framework of integration in Union State, Eurasian Economic Union, coordination of actions in CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] and CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization]."

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    Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron, Shinzo Abe, Japan, Russia, France
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