|Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Source: TASS)
In his New Year's speech on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said COVID-19 has not yet been completely stopped and the fight against it does not stop for a minute, urging Russians to unite to overcome difficulties and restore normal life.
He added that a year ago no one could imagine the challenges that the world would face. Putin thanked the country’s doctors, nurses, and frontline medical staff for their efforts in the fight against the pandemic.
Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted the country’s achievements in the battle against the epidemic, economic recovery and poverty reduction in 2020. He praised the efforts of the entire Chinese people and the solidarity of the international community in repelling the epidemic.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel described 2020 as the toughest year in the 15 years she has led the country. She stressed the start of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign will make 2021 a year of hope.
Queen Elizabeth II wished everyone a happy and healthy new year, “We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return.”
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is optimistic that “we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel after a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”