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At Sochi meet, Modi, Putin vow to work towards multipolar world, step up economic cooperation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India and Russia have been friends for a long time and thanked Vladimir Putin for inviting him for the first-ever informal meeting at Sochi.

india Updated: May 21, 2018 23:27 IST
Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,Vladimir Putin,Modi-Putin meet
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in Russia on May 21.(AP Photo)

India and Russia on Monday vowed to strengthen their relationship and work towards a strong multipolar world during a day-long informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. The two leaders also decided to step up economic cooperation and intensify consultation, a release issued after the meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi said.

Modi said the “strategic partnership” between the two countries had grown into a “special privileged strategic partnership”, which was a “very big achievement” in itself. Modi and Putin also took a boat ride from Bocharev Creek to Olympic Park in Sochi after the meeting to have more time to discuss bilateral ties. The talks at Putin’s Bocharov Ruchei residence lasted for more than three hours.

“They agreed on the importance of building a multipolar world order. They decided to intensify consultation and coordination with each other, including on the Indo-Pacific Region,” the release said.

This is the first informal summit between the leaders, who meet once in every year for an annual summit. Both leaders agreed to institute a strategic economic dialogue between NITI Aayog of India and Russia’s ministry of economic development to identify greater synergy in trade and investment” the release said.

The leaders also reiterated the significance of longstanding partnership in the military, security and nuclear energy fields and welcomed the ongoing cooperation in these areas. Putin and Modi had “very intense” discussions on bilateral and global issues that would provide the guidelines for the development of strategic ties, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“I am grateful to President Putin who invited me for an informal meeting and hence, in the long friendship of ours, this is a new aspect that has been attached to our relationship,” Modi said.

Ahead of their summit, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin would discuss Russia-India military cooperation with Modi amid US sanctions on Russia. Welcoming Modi, Putin said his visit would give an impetus to bilateral ties. He said Russia and India maintained a high strategic level of partnership, with close cooperation between the two countries’ defense ministries. “Our defense ministries maintain very close contacts and cooperation. It speaks about a high strategic level of our partnership,” Putin said.

First Published: May 21, 2018 17:40 IST