‘Special and privileged partnership’: Russian ambassador says after 2 flights carrying Covid-19 supplies land in India
Russian ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev on Thursday said that two flights from Russia, carrying Covid-19 supplies, have landed in India. The supplies included oxygen concentrators, lung ventilation equipment, bedside monitors and medicines.
In a video tweeted by the Russian Embassy in India, Kudashev said, “Russia is closely watching the situation in India which is becoming more and more alarming. The Russian Federation decided to send humanitarian assistance to India in the spirit of the special and privileged strategic partnership between our two countries as well as in the context of our anti-Covid-19 cooperation.”
“For this purpose, two urgent flights operated by the Russian EMERCOM arrived here today. These are oxygen concentrators, lung ventilation equipment, bedside monitors, medicines including Coronavir and other essential pharmaceutical items,” ambassador Kudashev further added.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Thursday confirmed the arrival of the two Russian planes and added that Air Cargo and the Delhi Customs expedited the clearance for the flights. According to the CBIC, the cargo contained 20 oxygen concentrators, 75 ventilators, 150 bedside monitors and medicines totalling 22 metric tonnes, news agency ANI reported.
Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs tweeted with images of the Russian supplies. “A longstanding and time-tested partner! Grateful for shipment of oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other medical supplies that arrived from Russia this morning in two aircrafts.”
Mentioning that the efforts against the coronavirus disease is one of the “most important areas of cooperation at present,” Kudashev said that it includes the delivery of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine to India from May, the production of the vaccine in India and also cooperation in the field of medical science including new coronaviruses.
Thanking India for approving emergency supplies of Hydroxychloroquine during the pandemic in 2020, the ambassador said, “We appreciate it and we remember.” He also emphasised the need for united efforts against the pandemic and said, “We hope that today’s delivery of the Russian humanitarian assistance will become an effective contribution to the Indian government’s efforts to provide emergency treatment to those who were affected by Covid-19.”
Watch | Russian flights with Covid-19 emergency aid lands in India
Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who expressed his solidarity with India and assured support. “Had an excellent conversation with my friend President Putin today. We discussed the evolving COVID-19 situation, and I thanked President Putin for Russia's help and support in India's fight against the pandemic,” Modi tweeted earlier on Wednesday.