(From R to L) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, outgoing German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, incoming German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and Michael Mueller, deputy president of the Bundesrat and Berlin's head of government, pose for a group photo after a ceremony for the appointment of German Defense Minister at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin, capital of Germany, July 17, 2019. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi)
MOSCOW, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow expects to rebuild partnerships and launch constructive dialogues with the European Union (EU) after the European Commission elected its new president, the Kremlin said Wednesday.
In a congratulatory message to Ursula von der Leyen on her election as the president of the European Commission, Putin said that her rich political experience and international standing will contribute to the European Commission's constructive work and help "restore the equal and mutually beneficial partnership between the EU and Russia," according to a Kremlin statement.
He also reaffirmed Russia's readiness to engage in constructive dialogue with the EU on major political, economic and humanitarian issues, it added.
On Tuesday, German Defense Minister Leyen was elected as the new president of the European Commission, making history as the first female chief executive of the European Union.
Relations between Russia and the EU soured in 2014 when Crimea was incorporated into Russia following a referendum. Western countries have since imposed various sets of economic sanctions on Russian entities and individuals.