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Putin Says Queen Earned 'Authority on World Stage'

In this April 17, 2000, file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, prior to a private audience at Windsor Castle, on his first visit to the West as Russian president. AP / TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday offered his condolences to King Charles III following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, wishing the new monarch "courage and resilience" after his mother's passing.

"The most important events of the United Kingdom's recent history are inextricably bound with the name of Her Majesty. For many decades Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed her subjects' love and respect as well as authority on the world stage," Putin said, according to a Kremlin statement.

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in British history, died Thursday at age 96.

The Kremlin said Friday that Putin is "not considering" attending her funeral.

Although "Russians respected her for her wisdom," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, Putin's attendance at the Queen's funeral "is not being considered."

Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, expressed his “deepest sympathy” over the Queen's death in an official statement on Friday.

He said he recalled “with great warmth” her historic 1994 trip to Russia, when she visited Moscow and St. Petersburg hosted by the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

Less than a decade later, the Queen invited Putin to Britain, where she and Prince Philip hosted the Russian leader and his wife at Buckingham Palace in 2003.

AFP contributed reporting.

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