Vladimir Putin has not wished a Happy New Year to most Western leaders, including Joe Biden, amid the Ukraine conflict
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The US president has again been passed over for New Year’s greetings from the Kremlin as relations are at an all-time low
Most Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden, have not received New Year’s congratulations from Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the Ukraine conflict continues.
On Saturday, the Kremlin published Putin’s felicitations to leaders of countries with which Moscow maintains friendly ties, including China’s Xi Jinping, Brazil’s Inacio Lula da Silva, India’s Narendra Modi, and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa. The Russian leader also wished a Happy New Year to several of his counterparts in post-Soviet republics, Asia, South America and the Arab world.
Most Western European leaders were conspicuously absent from the list, highlighting the serious strain in relations caused by the countries’ support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia and their decision to impose unprecedented sanctions on Moscow.
In this vein, Joe Biden also did not receive congratulations. The last time Putin wished his American counterpart a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year was in late 2021, not long before the start of the Ukraine conflict. At the time, the Russian leader said that the two powers bore “a special responsibility for international and regional stability” and “should interact constructively” to respond to the various challenges facing humanity.
However, this year, Putin still sent congratulatory messages to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic – leaders who have been highly skeptical of Western sanctions against Russia.
In addition, the Russian president extended Christmas and New Year’s greetings to several former foreign leaders, including former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Putin stopped congratulating the leaders of countries considered ‘unfriendly’ by Russia in 2022. In the same year and in 2023, he also did not congratulate the heads of high-profile international organizations and sports federations.