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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Sends Bush Congratulations

President Vladimir Putin expressed hope for cordial relations with the United States in a letter congratulating U.S. President George W. Bush on his country's Independence Day on Wednesday.

Putin's message to Bush, part of which was posted in Russian on the Kremlin web site, noted that this year is the 200th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Russia.

"I am convinced that, despite well-known disagreements that are inevitable with open and candid dialogue, the path of comprehensive development of bilateral relations in various areas will remain unchanged," Putin said in the message.

One day earlier, Putin sent a congratulatory telegram to Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on the occasion of his country's Independence Day. Belarus celebrates its independence on July 3, the date that Soviet troops liberated Minsk from German occupation in 1944.