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Putin tells Modi: ‘India great power, friendly nation, time-tested friend’

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose for a photograph in New Delhi on Monday.

INDIA: Expressing “concern” about the situation in Afghanistan, visiting Russia President Vladimir Putin on Monday flagged “fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime” as key challenges on which both countries will have to cooperate.

“We continue to cooperate jointly on global agenda… our positions are quite similar…in the fight against terrorism, also fighting drug trafficking and organized crime,” Putin said, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi listening before their bilateral meeting began.

“It is natural we’re concerned about the development of the situation in Afghanistan,” the Russian President said, in his opening remarks.

He called India a “great power”, a “friendly” country and a “time-tested friend”.

Modi said, “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.”

“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 Prime Minister said, adding that the relation between India and Russia is “truly a unique and reliable model of inter-State friendship”.

Putin, who arrived in New Delhi on Monday evening, met Modi at Hyderabad House, hours after the first ever India-Russia 2+2 ministerial meeting took place between Foreign and Defence ministers.

Till now India has had a 2+2 format of meetings with the US, Japan and Australia—all members of the Quad grouping.

India signed four agreements with Russia as the two countries began their first ever 2+2 ministerial dialogue on Monday morning.

– THE INDIAN EXPRESS

 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 – 01:00











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