Russian president congratulates new German chancellor

Russia wants constructive dialogue with Germany, Vladimir Putin tells Olaf Scholz.

MOSCOW (AA) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday congratulated Olaf Scholz who was sworn in as Germany’s new chancellor, ending Angela Merkel’s historic 16-year tenure.

Relations between Russia and Germany have traditionally been of great importance not only for the peoples of the two countries but also for the whole of Europe, Putin said in a telegram, published on the Kremlin website.

“I look forward to establishing a constructive dialogue with you and working together on topical issues on the bilateral and international agenda. This would undoubtedly meet the fundamental interests of Russians and Germans, and would contribute to strengthening stability and security at the regional and global level,” the Russian leader said.

In a separate telegram, he expressed “sincere gratitude” to Merkel for fruitful cooperation and readiness for mutually respectful dialogue.

Scholz, whose Social Democrats got the most votes in the country’s Sept. 26 general elections, has been officially elected chancellor by parliament with the votes of his party along with its new coalition partners, the Greens and the Free Democrats.

The 63-year-old career politician got 395 of the 707 valid parliamentary votes, more than the 369 votes he needed to take office.

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