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Putin thanks foreign pilots tackling wildfires in Russia

Zhukovsky, Moscow region, August 17 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has thanked the foreign pilots who have been working to put out the wildfires raging across Russia.

Forest Fire"I would like to say thank you both to you and your governments. I am confident such well-coordinated work is a good reason for all of us to demonstrate the same level of solidarity should any of our states find itself in a similar difficult situation," Putin said, presenting watches to 19 pilots from Russia and foreign countries who participated in the firefighting effort.

"I am particularly pleased to note that when this disaster hit our country, we did not have to seek anyone's support and assistance. Almost all of our partners immediately responded and showed their solidarity with Russia," he said.

Pilots from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Italy, France and Turkey, as well as rescuers from Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia and Poland participated in firefighting operations on Russian territory.

Russia also received offers of assistance from Germany, Spain and the United States.

Putin told the pilots after the ceremony that their work was important from the point of view of strengthening ties between states.

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