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'Congratulations, Mr President!' Praise for Putin's election victory pours in from (some) world leaders

Key Points
  • CNBC takes a look at some of the praise, congratulations and other responses from around the world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin secured a fourth term following a landslide victory Sunday in a presidential election that everyone expected him to win.

The messages of praise and congratulations being sent to Russia's strongman leader, who won 76.6 percent of the vote, reveal much about the country's standing on a global stage and what direction its relations with the rest of the world might take.

Conversely, the silence from other countries, including the U.S., the U.K. and the rest of Europe, reveals where relations are most strained. President Donald Trump has not made any statement about Putin's election win at a time when his administration's relationship with Putin and the Kremlin is being closely watched.

CNBC takes a look at some of the praise, congratulations and other responses from around the world.

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead a bilateral meeting at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, 14 May 2017

"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 Monday, according to the Xinhua news agency.

"China is willing to work with Russia to keep promoting China-Russia relations to a higher level, provide driving force for respective national development in both countries, and promote regional and global peace and tranquility."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Another Russia ally was quick to congratulate Putin, particularly as Iran looks increasingly isolated in geopolitical terms with the U.S. and its Middle Eastern neighbors.

Rouhani congratulated Putin on his "decisive victory" and said in a message on the presidential website: "I am sure that during your new term, relations between our two countries will develop further."

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince

Russia is one of the few countries that has good relations with both Iran and its nemesis Saudi Arabia. Russia and the Saudis have bonded over their cooperative stance over oil markets, both agreeing to limit oil supply to support prices.

On Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a cable of congratulations to President Putin, wishing him "constant good health and happiness and his people steady progress and prosperity," Saudi Arabia's state press agency said.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

A statement from Venezuela's Communications and Information Ministry said Monday that President Maduro "congratulates Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election for the period 2018-2024, and the glorious Russian people for their demonstration of civility, high political awareness and deep commitment to democracy in the important and historic electoral day."

President Maduro also tweeted his congrats. Maduro tweet:


Venezuela has borrowed billions from Russia and, in November, Moscow agreed to restructure the $3.1 billion in debt that Venezuela owes it.

Bolivia's President Evo Morales

Bolivia's president also took to Twitter to, as he put it, "salute the resounding victory of the brother president of Russia."


Morales added that Russia "respects the dignity of peoples and guarantees the geopolitical balance and world peace before the onslaught of imperialism."

Cuban President Raul Castro

Cuba's ambassador to Russia said Monday that Castro conveyed "his warm congratulations to Russia's president-elect Vladimir Putin on his convincing election win on Sunday."

Ambassador Gerardo Penalver Portal said, writing in Russian on Twitter, that Cuba is a long-standing ally of Russia, the countries sharing a history of Communist ideology and distrust of the U.S.

Egyptian President Fatah al-Sisi

The Egyptian leader, who was backed by Putin in his bid for the presidency in 2014, wished Putin every success and expressed hope in "further developing and promoting cooperation on behalf of the two friendly nations," various news agencies reported.

Europe's reaction

Russia's nearest neighbor, Europe, has been noticeably muted in offering any praise to Putin, arguably the thorn in its side.

The Kremlin has been accused of promoting and supporting a rise of populist, anti-establishment parties in Europe. It is also under economic sanctions after its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Britain has yet to respond to Putin's victory as it comes when U.K.-Russia relations have hit a new low following the attempted murder of a former Russian double agent on British soil in early March.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Merkel has not given her official congratulations to Putin, although government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday that Merkel would send Putin a congratulatory telegram that would "address the challenges we face in German-Russian relations," Deutsche Welle reported Monday.

Earlier Monday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had remarked that the election in Russia was not a "fair political competition," alluding to the lack of real competition faced by Putin. His main challenger, Alexei Navalny, was barred from running.