Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit India next year to inaugurate the year-long festival of Russia.
"The Russian president said he would be too happy to come to India for the year of Russia in India," Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told reporters Monday after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Putin held talks at the Kremlin.
The festival will include a string of cultural events that will showcase the new Russia in all its colour and diversity. It is expected to be launched in January with a concert in New Delhi. The famous Bolshoi ballet is expected to travel to India and Russian artists will visit major Indian cities to stage performances.
There will be seminars on social sciences, science and contemporary studies, along with cultural events like fashion shows and food festivals. Russia will also be the guest of honour at 2008 International Film Festival of India in Goa.
The year of Russia in India will be followed by year of India in Russia in 2009.