Russia’s ties with India have been “progressing incrementally despite all the turmoil happening worldwide,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told external affairs minister S. Jaishankar on Wednesday.
Putin also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Russia as Jaishankar, who is on a five-day visit to Russia, expressed confidence that the annual India-Russia leadership summit will be held in 2024 after a two-year hiatus.
“Definitely, we will be glad to see our dear friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, paying a visit to Russia. We will be able to discuss all the relevant, current issues and talk to the prospects of the Russian and Indian relationship,” Putin told Jaishankar,.
Putin said Russia was “gratified to note that despite all the turmoil happening worldwide, the relationship with our true friend in Asia, India has been progressing incrementally”.
The Russian President also highlighted that bilateral trade is growing, particularly on account of crude oil and high technology areas.
“Our trade turnover is growing, for the second year in a row at the same time and at a steady pace. The growth rate this year is even higher than in the last year,” he said.
Addressing Jaishankar, he also wished “every success” for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. “The general elections in parliament are scheduled for next year. We wish our friends every success in that and we hope that… anyway, no matter what the alignment of political forces would be, the traditional conventional friendly ties will persist between our nations,” Putin said.
Earlier, Jaishankar met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss bilateral cooperation in different spheres, the international strategic situation, conflicts and tensions.
Noting that India and Russia have been in contact through multilateral forums like G20, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, ASEAN, and BRICS, Jaishankar said, “…I think we have lived up to a special and privileged strategic partnership. This year we have already met six times, and this is our 7th meeting.”
“We are very glad to see continued progress and we expect a strong Russian participation at the Vibrant Gujarat meeting in January,” he said in his opening remarks at the meeting with Lavrov.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Jaishankar said, “India-Russia relations remain very steady, remain very strong, they are based on our strategic convergence, on our geopolitical interests, and because they are mutually beneficial.”
The two sides also discussed the global strategic situation, including Ukraine and Gaza, the minister said.
On Tuesday, Jaishankar held a “comprehensive and productive” meeting with deputy prime minister Denis Manturov on bilateral economic cooperation. The two leaders witnessed the signing of some “very important” agreements related to the construction of the future power-generating units of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.
Jaishankar is on a visit to Russia from 25-29 December as a part of the ongoing high-level exchanges between the two sides.
“The time-tested India-Russia partnership has remained stable and resilient and continues to be characterized by the spirit of the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership,” the ministry of external affairs said in a press release ahead of Jaishankar’s departure.
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