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Russia Critics Omitted From Putin's New Year's Greetings


Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued his New Year's greetings to fellow world leaders and dignitaries, but Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is not among the dozens of recipients.

A summary of Putin's messages to the leaders of more than 30 countries, plus Pope Francis and the heads of the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and a select group of former world leaders, was posted on the Kremlin's website on December 31.

In addition to Poroshenko, the leaders of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland -- all countries that have led global criticism of Russia's actions in Ukraine -- were omitted. Norway and Sweden were also skipped.

Estonian President Toomas Ilves quipped on Twitter that he was "crushed."

In his message to U.S. President Barack Obama, Putin mentioned that the two countries fought "shoulder to shoulder" during World War II and stressed the "responsibility of Russia and the United States" in maintaining peace and international stability. He said relations should be based on equality and mutual respect.

Addressing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin expressed the hope of "constructive dialog and active joint work" in 2015.