The message reads, in part:
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the natural disaster that struck Japan, the powerful earthquake and tsunami that have claimed lives and caused widespread destruction.
Please pass on my sincere condolences to the victims’ families, and my words of support to all who were affected.
Russia is ready to provide any necessary assistance to Japan in the disaster relief effort.”
On March 11 northeast Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake followed by a tsunami up to 10 metres high. The disaster has killed 18 people and caused major damage, particularly along the coastal areas hit by the tsunami.