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PM Modi, Russia’s Putin stress on closer ties to jointly battle post-Covid challenges

"PM Modi and Putin agreed to maintain the momentum of bilateral contacts and consultations, leading to the annual bilateral Summit to be held in India later this year," the MEA said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 2, 2020 4:24:51 pm
India Russia, Russia navy Indian Ocean, Modi Putin, Russia Sri Lanka relations, Russian Navy Sri Lanka, Russia's influence in Indian ocean, indian express news Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President of Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, at Vladivostok, in Russia. (File)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a telephonic conversation on Thursday, stressed on the importance of closer bilateral ties to jointly address the post-Covid challenges.

“The leaders took note of the effective measures undertaken by 2 countries to address the negative consequences of Covid-19 global pandemic,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

PM Modi also said India was looking forward to the visit of Vladimir Putin for the annual bilateral summit later this year. “They agreed to maintain the momentum of bilateral contacts and consultations, leading to the annual bilateral Summit to be held in India later this year,” the MEA said.

The exchange between PM Modi and the Russian President comes days after Russian voters approved changes to the constitution that would allow Putin to hold power until 2036. Putin has been in power for more than two decades — longer than any other Kremlin leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

“Prime Minister Modi warmly congratulated President Putin on the success of celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War, and also for successful completion of the vote on constitutional amendments in Russia,” the statement said.

“PM Modi recalled the participation of an Indian contingent in the military parade held in Moscow on 24 June 2020, as a symbol of abiding friendship between the peoples of India and Russia,” it said.

Last month, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh attended the 75th anniversary of the Victory Day Parade at the iconic Red Square, where a 75-member tri-service contingent of the Indian Armed Forces participated.

Rajnath Singh said India had been assured by Russia that despite the pandemic, it would deliver on all ongoing military contracts, and can even hasten the delivery in certain cases.

India had signed a contract worth over $5 billion in 2018 to buy five regiments of the S-400 Triumf missile system from Russia. Its delivery is expected to begin by the end of this year.

On his part, Putin reiterated his commitment to further strengthen the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries in all spheres, the MEA said.

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