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Putin sends Gorbachev a birthday message

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev speaks during the opening ceremony for the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates on April 23, 2012 in Chicago. UPI/Brian Kersey
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev speaks during the opening ceremony for the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates on April 23, 2012 in Chicago. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

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.

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"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.

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