8 October 2013, 13:46

'Xi gave me cake': Putin, Chinese leader celebrate Putin's birthday

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told reporters about celebrating his birthday together with Chinese President Xi Jinping. In perhaps an unprecedented burst of birthday diplomacy, Putin celebrated turning 61 by wolfing down cake and being serenaded by some of the world's most powerful men (VIDEO).

Putin Tuesday recounted a series of light-hearted birthday moments that livened up the normally dour conference halls of a trade-focused Asia-Pacific leaders' summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

"The last meeting I held yesterday was with the Chinese leader; we met at 11 pm. I offered a drink of vodka and the Chinese comrades did not refuse it. They also ate the cake they gave me," Putin said with a smile.

As for the cake: "We wolfed it down successfully". Putin described his meeting with Xi as "very warm" and "friendly".

The tone had been set earlier in the day when Putin walked into a room to see Xi standing alongside Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was strumming a guitar and singing "Happy Birthday" into a microphone.

A visibly surprised Putin smiled as Yudhoyono, a former general-turned politician who in his spare time has made a series of love-song albums, serenaded him and Xi clapped along.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also gave Putin a bottle of sake. The Russian leader said that he would taste the sake presented by the Japanese prime minister after he returned to Moscow.

Indonesia's President sings “Happy Birthday” song to Putin

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono congratulated Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who celebrates his 61st birthday today, by singing a song, said a representative of the Russian delegation at the APEC summit.

As Russian President entered the APEC summit hall of meetings, he was greeted by his Indonesian counterpart. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono sang “Happy Birthday to You” to Putin, accompanying himself on the guitar.

Leaders participating in the summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group on the Indonesian resort island of Bali later joined Yudhoyono in the celebration.

Putin looked a little bit confused as didn't expect such a greeting, witnesses said.

"I thank President Yudhoyono for the birthday wish and it was a pleasant surprise," Russian Presdient said.

Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the President of Indonesia sang the song.

According to Peskov, the Russian delegation didn’t expect such an act. "This was a major surprise," - said the president's press secretary.

Yudhoyono mentioned he had been informed about Putin's birthday at the last minute.

"As soon as Mr President landed I looked for a guitar so I could sing Happy Birthday," he told Putin in an exchange broadcast to the media centre.

Yudhoyono is an accomplished musician with three albums under his belt, all released after he became president.

Vladimir Putin turns 61: photos

Voice of Russia, RIA, dpa, Interfax

 

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