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Putin sends Gorbachev a birthday message

March 2, 2013 at 1:08 PM
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MOSCOW, March 2 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin wished former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev a happy 82nd birthday on Saturday.

In a message to Gorbachev, Putin said Gorbachev's "fruitful public and research activities and his active participation in popular charitable and educational projects" rightly earned him deep respect, RIA Novosti reported.

"It is significant that you give constant attention to the implementation of important international cooperation initiatives, and that your multifaceted work is aimed at promoting Russia's international prestige," the message read.

Gorbachev served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991 and now heads the International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies, Wikipedia stated. He was born on March 2, 1931.