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Vladimir Putin Gifts Hugo Chavez with Puppy

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying what you might call a bit of "pet diplomacy."

He sent a 3-month-old puppy to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a gift.  The black Russian terrier doesn't have a name yet, but Chavez is expected to announce one soon.

The dog was delivered by Igor Sechin, the head of Russian oil giant Rosneft, which has major investments in Venezuela.

According to the ruling United Russia party’s website, Chavez was thrilled with the gift. “He loved it,” Sechin told reporters.

This isn’t the first time Putin has been part of pet diplomacy.  Earlier this year, Putin received an Akita puppy from Japanese officials and returned the favor with a Siberian cat.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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