From 'friendship constant' to 'perceive India as great power', what PM Modi and Putin said at summit

This is the first in-person meet between them since they met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in 2019 in Brasilia. There have been six telephonic conversations between the two leaders since then

FP Staff December 06, 2021 18:58:45 IST
From 'friendship constant' to 'perceive India as great power', what PM Modi and Putin said at summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin at Hyderabad House. ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin met for the 21st India- Russia Annual Summit at the Hyderabad House on Monday.

This is the first in-person between them since they met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in 2019 in Brasilia. There have been six telephonic conversations between the two leaders since then apart from the virtual meetings that they've attended for multilateral summits.

The visit is in continuation of the tradition of annual summits held alternately in India and Russia.

India's special and strategic partnership has continued to strengthen irrespective of the COVID pandemic. Both countries cooperated strongly during the pandemic - from vaccine trials and production, from assistance to returning nationals to respective nations.

'Indo-Russian friendship constant'

"In the last few decades, several fundamentals have changed. New geopolitical angles have emerged. Amidst all such variables, Indo-Russian friendship has been constant. Both countries have assisted each other and also taken care of each other's sensitivities," Modi said.

"The first 2+2 dialogue between our defence and foreign ministers has taken place. It starts a new mechanism to improve our behavioral cooperation. We've been in constant touch on Afghanistan and other regional issues," he added.

"We're adopting a long-term vision to strengthen our partnership in economic affairs. By 2025, we've set a target of trade worth $30 billion and investment worth $50 billion," the prime minister said.

'Perceive India as great power'

As per ANI, Putin said, "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 to the future."

"Currently, mutual investments stand at about 38 billion with a bit more investment coming from the Russian side. We cooperate greatly in military & technical sphere like no other country. We develop high technologies together as well as produce in India," Putin added.

"Naturally, we're concerned about everything that has to do with terrorism. Fight against terrorism is also fight against drug trafficking and organized crime. With that regard, we are concerned about the developments of the situation in Afghanistan," Putin said.

Putin also said that "Last year the trade between India and Russia had decreased by 17 percent, but in the first 9 months of 2021, both countries witnessed an Meanwhile, Putin also said that both the countries continue to develop relations both in the international arena and in the military sphere.

"We are conducting joint military exercises both in India and in Russia. We are grateful to you for your understanding of this component of our work, we intend to continue working in this direction," Putin was quoted as saying by Sputnik.

Earlier in the day, the two countries held their first 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.

The two countries on Monday signed an agreement for the procurement of 6,01,427 assault rifles AK-203 through Indo-Russia Rifles Pvt Ltd, under the military-technical cooperation arrangement for 2021-31.

Putin had said on Wednesday that he intends to discuss with Prime Minister Narendra Modi new "large-scale" initiatives on further developing "specially privileged" Russian-Indian relations.

"This partnership brings real mutual benefit to both states. Bilateral trade shows good dynamics; ties are actively developing in the energy sector, innovation, space, and the production of coronavirus vaccines and medicines," Putin had said.

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