The relations between India and Russia are linked together through water, land and sky, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told a Russian agency, hours before he is hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a dinner on Wednesday.
Modi is on his second visit to Russia as PM and is expected to close a host of deals in defence, technology and trade, and has said he is optimistic about the visit.
In an interview to TAAS, Modi said his political journey was almost identical to that of Putin and described Russia as India’s “unwavering friend”.
“In the global environment, in times of crisis, where you need a friend, Russia has always stood with us. We never had to wait to know what Russia will do with us in this regard.. So this in itself, an atmosphere of trust continues between the two countries,” he said.
“Today I will commence my visit to Russia, my first bilateral visit after we formed the Government. I am very optimistic about the outcome of this visit,” Modi said in a Facebook post.
Modi is attending the 16th India-Russia annual summit meeting – the first meeting between him and Putin since their formal interaction at the BRICS summit in Ufa in July.
“My visit will deepen the cooperation between India and Russia in the economic, energy and security spheres. We also want to increase cooperation in science and technology, mining among other sectors. Trade ties between India and Russia can increase even further, to benefit not only our two nations but also the world,” the post said.
There will be an interaction between Modi and Russian businesspersons to invite them to invest in India. He will also attend a ‘Friends of India’ programme.
The PM said the strengths of Russia in science and technology, military technology and nuclear energy complement the large market of India, expanding economy and demand of its young population.
“Energy is a sector where we can do a lot more. Russia is one of the world’s top sources for hydrocarbon resources and India is one of the world’s largest importers. We have had significant investments in this sector.”
With inputs from Agencies