‘Unique model of interstate friendship’: PM Modi welcomes Russia’s Putin
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Monday as India and Russia kicked off their first '2+2' ministerial dialogue to elevate the age-old ties between the two nations.
PM Modi, who hosted the Russian president in New Delhi’s Hyderabad House, said the coronavirus pandemic could not dent the relationship between both nations and ties continue to strengthen between the two.
“Despite the challenges posed by COVID, there is no change in the pace of growth of India-Russia relations. Our special & privileged strategic partnership continues to become stronger,” PM Modi said.
“In the last few decades, the world witnessed many fundamental changes and different kinds of geopolitical equations emerged but the friendship of India and Russia remained constant. The relation between India and Russia is truly a unique and reliable model of interstate friendship,” he added.
Putin also said India is a time-tested ally and a world power and both countries are looking forward to the future together. “We perceive India as a great power, a friendly nation, and a time-tested friend. The relations between our nations are growing and I am looking into the future,” Putin said.
Putin, addressing the press in New Delhi, said both nations will continue to remain partners to spur growth in fields like the energy sector, innovation, space, and the production of coronavirus vaccines and medicines.
Earlier in the day, India and Russia signed an agreement for the procurement of more than 600,000 AK-203 assault rifles through Indo-Russia Rifles Pvt Ltd, under the military-technical cooperation arrangement for 2021-31. It also renewed military-technical cooperation for another 10 years in the process.
Putin is meeting PM Modi for the second after they spoke in 2019 on the sidelines of the BRICS summit. This is Putin’s second trip abroad following the Covid-19 pandemic. He met US President Joe Biden in Geneva in June.