SOCHI, July 28 (RIA Novosti)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he would send a Siberian cat to Norihisa Satake, head of the Akita prefecture who sent him a puppy as present.
The three-month old Akita Inu puppy named Yume arrived in Moscow from Tokyo on Friday. Yume is the Akita prefecture’s gift to show gratitude for Russia’s assistance after last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
“I ask you to express my gratitude to the governor for the present, the Akita Inu puppy. She [the dog] is already in Moscow,” Putin said at a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba.
“I was told that he is a cat person. I will in return send him a Siberian cat, a bigger one” Putin said.
The puppy, now in the president’s Novo-Ogaryovo residence, will be officially handed over to its new owner on Sunday.
Putin currently has a Labrador named Koni and a Bulgarian shepherd named Baffi, which was given to him by his Bulgarian counterpart Boiko Borisov in November 2010.
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New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.