Putin is first Russian head to be chief guest on R-Day
Putin is the first Russian Head of State to participate as chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations, reports Nilova Roy Chaudhury.india Updated: Jan 25, 2007 23:07 IST
Despite the long-standing, "traditionally warm and cordial" relations between India and Russia, President Vladimir Putin is the first Russian Head of State to participate as chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.
This includes the Soviet era, because the Joint Statement notes "with particular interest" that this visit is taking place "in the year when the two sides were actively preparing to commemmorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and the Russian Federation."
The 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries falls on April 13, 2007.
At the joint press interaction Putin and Manmohan Singh held at Hyderabad House, the Indian translator appeared a bit over-enthusiastic. As a result, the prime minister often found himself being translated in mid-sentence.
The official discussions followed by the signing of agreements and joint press interaction, which was restricted to one Indian question and two Russian questions, lasted longer than expected. Several ministers present, including External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister AK Anthony and Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora, left early, before the function got over.