By Omonu Nelson, Abuja 

The president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin has felicitated with Nigeria, as it turns 61, even as he restated commitment to a more engaging, robust and mutually beneficial relations. 
A copy of Putin’s message made available to SUMMIT POST by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Nigeria, reads in part: 
“Please accept my congratulations on the occasion of the national holiday of your country, Independence Day.
“I am convinced that further development of the traditionally friendly relations between Russia and Nigeria fully accords with the interests of our people and promotes stronger security and stability on the African continent.” 
President Putin also wished Buhari good health and success, and Nigerian citizens peace and prosperity.
In the same vein, the Speaker of Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Valentina Matvienko, sent a congratulatory message to the President of the Nigerian senate, Ahmed Lawal, on the occasion of Nigeria at 60.
In the letter, Matvienko said, “I would like to congratulate you on the national holiday of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Independence Day.
“Relations between our countries, traditionally open and respectful in character, are based on the mutual aspiration towards a stronger partnership in the political sphere, trade and economy, cultural and humanitarian areas.” 
The Speaker further explained that, “Today, we actively implement joint projects in energy and mineral resources development, work together in infrastructure and industry, and promote military cooperation.” 
Mr Matvienko expressed hope that relations between Russia and Nigeria would continue to strive, while emphasising the need for mutual trust, “In this regard, I would like to underscore the cardinal importance of promoting a trust-based bilateral dialogue. 
“I am convinced that cooperation between the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will continue to grow stronger for the benefit of our nations and in the interests of stability and progress on the African continent. On our part, we are ready to fully support further strengthening of contacts in all areas.”


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