Vladimir Putin cruised to victory in Russia's presidential election on Sunday, giving him at least another six years in power as Moscow's relations with the West become increasingly strained.
Putin’s victory will take his political dominance of Russia to nearly a quarter of a century until 2024, the longest rule since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, by which time Putin will be 71. He has promised to use his new term to beef up Russia’s defences against the West and to raise living standards.
In an outcome that was never in doubt, the Central Election Commission, with nearly 100 percent of the votes counted, announced that Putin, who has run Russia as president or prime minister since 1999, had won 76.66 percent of the vote.
Most world leaders, however, did not rush to congratulate the Russian president. The following are the ones who did:
Narendra Modi, Indian prime minister
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Putin to congratulated him on his reelection.
"Conveying his compliments on Putin's success, the prime minister expressed the hope that under Putin's leadership, the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and the Russian Federation will continue to grow from strength to strength," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
"The Prime Minister also stated that he looked forward to welcoming President Putin in India for the annual summit later this year," it added.
Xi Jinping, Chinese president
Chinese president Xi Jinping, congratulated his Russian counterpart on the re-election, saying Beijing was willing to work with Moscow to bring ties to a "higher level".
"Currently, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership is at the best level in history, which sets an example for building a new type of international relations," Xi said in a congratulatory message to Putin.
Aleksandar Vucic, Serbian president
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic was one of the first heads of State to congratulate Putin on election results.
"Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on your re-election as Russian president and best wishes to further steer your country along the clearly defined path of progress for the benefit of all its citizens. I am confident that with you outstanding talent of a leader with a clear understanding and inflexible will, responsibility and commitment to your cause, you will continue to achieve success in solving all issues important for Russia and in implementing plans for its further comprehensive development," the statement said.
Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela president
Pointing out the close ties between Caracas and Moscow, the official statement from Nicolas Maduro said, "On behalf of the Venezuelan people, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro congratulates Russian president Vladimir Putin on being re-elected president for the period of 2018-2024."
Raúl Castro, Cuban president
Cuban leader Raul Castro congratulated Putin on winning the presidential election, Cuba’s ambassador to Russia Gerardo Penalver Portal said. "Raul Castro has conveyed his warm congratulations to Russia’s president-elect Vladimir Putin on his convincing election win on Sunday," the ambassador wrote on Twitter.
Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s president
"I heartily congratulate you on a convincing victory in the Russian presidential election. This victory demonstrates your high political authority and active support for your policy aimed at ensuring stability, legitimacy and the rule of law in the country, carrying out large-scale reforms, implementing long-term social programs contributing to enhancing the well-being of citizens," a telegram published on Ilham Aliyev’s official website said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan president
"Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin have held a telephone conversation," Kazakhstan's official press service said. "The president of Kazakhstan congratulated Vladimir Putin on winning the Russian presidential election," it added.
"Under your effective guidance, Russia has been firmly pursuing the path of large-scale political and economic reforms aimed at improving people’s social conditions and ensuring the country’s active role in resolving pressing global and economic issues," Nazarbayev said in his message.
With inputs from Russian news agency TASS and other agencies
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Updated Date: Mar 19, 2018 20:08:50 IST