Russia’s President Vladimir Putin received a number of congratulations from world leaders for his birthday this week — but none from the president of the United States, Donald Trump, nor his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, the Kremlin said Tuesday.
“By the end of the day, I saw no congratulatory messages from Trump and Zelensky,” press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists. “Either there are none or they may come later: sometimes such messages come with delay via diplomatic channels. They may never come, after all.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation, but there were no public readouts of a birthday message to Putin.
Putin turned 67 years old on Monday. The Kremlin said that a range of foreign leaders had reached out to offer their best wishes, including former Armenian president Robert Kocharyan, who called from jail where he was being held on charges of overthrowing the constitutional system.
Trump has spoken to Putin at least 16 times since he entered office in 2017, with their most recent known conversation in July. The Russian president wished Trump a happy birthday in a telegram last year, but there are no public records of the U.S. president wishing Putin the same.
The U.S. president has been mired in potential impeachment proceedings following the release of a partial transcript of a July phone call with Ukraine’s Zelensky which appeared to show Trump urging an investigation of the son of domestic political rival Joe Biden.
Trump did offer some birthday congratulations on Monday — however they were to Japan’s Shinzo Abe, whose birthday was on Sept. 21, more than two weeks ago.
“I want to start by wishing my very good friend, Prime Minister Abe of Japan, a very happy birthday. He’s 39 years old today,” Trump said at the White House at an event for the signing of a trade agreement with Japan.
|The Washington Post