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BALI (Indonesia), October 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that he celebrated his 61st birthday a day earlier with a shot of vodka with the Chinese president and that he saved a bottle of sake from Japan’s prime minister for later.
Putin’s birthday, on October 7, coincided with his trip to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Indonesia. He told reporters that he enjoyed his birthday, even though he didn’t have much time to celebrate.
“How did we celebrate? We almost didn’t celebrate. We had a late meeting with the Chinese delegation. I offered our Chinese friends to raise a vodka shot for the occasion,” Putin told reporters on Tuesday. “They didn’t refuse,” he added.
The delegation, led by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, greeted Putin with a cake that they later ate together, the Russian president said. “It was very warm … and friendly,” Putin said.
When asked whether he had opened the bottle of sake presented to him by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Putin said he was planning to drink it in Moscow. He joked that he was glad he didn’t have too much to drink. “Thank God I can control myself,” he said.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono surprised Putin by singing and strumming out “Happy Birthday” on a guitar when the Russian president attended an APEC luncheon with all 20 heads of state participating in the conference.
Corrected on October 10, Putin's surname added in the first paragraph
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Russia has surged ahead on the foreign policy stage, but this is not enough to remain a great power. The tough-minded policies and masterful diplomacy of Russia’s leadership have maximized the country’s position in the world, and are now the main source of its international influence and prestige. Russia’s foreign policy in the next decade depends entirely on what happens at home.