Russia:21/5/18;Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the strategic partnership between India and Russia has now been elevated into a “special privileged strategic partnership” which is a “very big achievement” as he met President Vladimir Putin in this Black Sea coastal city for their first informal summit.In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Modi said India and Russia have been friends for a long time and they have enjoyed an unbreakable friendship.”I am grateful to President Putin who invited me for an informal meeting and hence, in the long friendship of ours, this is a new aspect that has been attached to our relationship,” Modi said.You have added a new aspect of informal summit in the bilateral relationship which I think is a great occasion and creates trust,” he said.
Modi recalled his first visit to Russia with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001 and said Putin was the first world leader whom he met after becoming the chief minister of Gujarat.”In my political career also, Russia and you (Putin) are very significant…As the chief minister of Gujarat, it was my first meeting with a foreign leader. Hence, the beginning of my international relations started from you and Russia,” Modi said.”Since then it has been 18 years, I have got several opportunities to meet you, to deliberate upon issues, and try to take the relations of India and Russia forward,” he added.
He said the seeds of the ‘strategic partnership’ sown by then Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Putin have now grown into a “special privileged strategic partnership” which is a “very big achievement” in itself.
Modi thanked Russia for playing a major role in helping India get a permanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – an eight nation bloc which aims at military and economic cooperation between the member states. India and Pakistan were admitted last year into the organisation.
“We are working together on International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and BRICS,” Modi saidHe also congratulated Putin for becoming the President for the fourth time with overwhelming majority.”It’s my pleasure that I had got an opportunity to talk to you over phone and soon met you to congratulate you personally,” he said