Terming the induction of INS Chakra into the Navy as a major milestone, Russia on Wednesday vowed to help India in its efforts to become a strong power capable of combating any threat and noted that bilateral ties had reached a unique level as "privileged strategic partnership".
Speaking on the occasion of induction of Russian-origin nuclear submarine INS Chakra into Indian Navy, Russian ambassador Alexander M Kadakin said, "Russia is India's best friend and can give everything India needs.
"We want to see India as a strong power, capable of combating any challenge or threat with pride and confidence as a great power in the making."
The Russian ambassador said the induction of INS Chakra "is a shining example of very confidential strategic cooperation between Russia and India, a new phase in its progress."
Recalling the induction of India's first nuclear submarine, also called the Chakra, at the same naval base about 25 years ago, Kadakin said: "That was the vessel of the previous generation.
"Today, we are witnessing the Chakra's reincarnation. This new avatar of the nuclear submarine with the same name is much more superior, powerful and ferocious."
Kadakin said defence cooperation between Russia and India goes back several decades, and "we take great pride in this relationship.... The best tradition of the military of cooperation between our countries are cherished and upheld. We do not want to compete with others.
"All these projects are strategic for India's future the way Bhilai and Bokaro were in 1960s and 70s," Kadakin said, referring to the steel plants and stressed that bilateral ties between the two countries "have now reached a unique level as privileged strategic partnership.
"It's symbolic indeed that today's ceremony takes place on the eve of another memorable day that is 65th anniversary of India-Russia diplomatic relations," he said.