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PM on Russia trip, looks to deepen economic, energy, security ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday left on a two-day visit to Russia that is expected to take the already close strategic partnership between the two countries to a higher trajectory as he said the trip will deepen bilateral cooperation in economic, energy and security spheres.

Setting the tone for the visit, the Prime Minister said Russia remained one of India’s “most valued” friends in the world and that he was “very optimistic” about outcomes of the annual summit talks with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday. 

“Our relation with Russia is unique, covering almost every field of human endeavour,” said Modi before leaving for Moscow. The “time-tested” partners are likely to ink a number of pacts in a range of sectors, including nuclear energy and defence, after the 16th summit talks between the two countries at the highest level which have been taking place alternately in Moscow and New Delhi since 2000. “I am very optimistic about the outcome of this visit.

History is witness to the close ties India and Russia have had over the decades. Russia remains one of India’s most valued friends in the world,” Modi said in a Facebook post.

He further said, “My visit will deepen the cooperation between India and Russia in the economic, energy and security spheres. We also want to increase cooperation in science and technology, mining, among other sectors. Trade ties between India and Russia can increase even further, to benefit not only our two nations but also the world.” On Thursday, Modi and Putin will interact with a group of Indian and Russian CEOs in Kremlin.

The Prime Minister’s engagements in Moscow also include addressing a gathering of ‘Friends of India’ and around 3,000 people are expected to attend the event on Thursday.

“The visit will witness extensive deliberations with President Putin. There will be an interaction with Russian businesspersons to invite them to invest in India. I will also attend a ‘Friends of India’ programme. I am certain that this visit will substantially take forward the already strong people to people ties between our nations,” the Prime Minister said. 

Modi also recalled accompanying the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his trip to Russia in 2001. Modi was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
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