President Pranab Mukherjee has lauded his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for being the guiding force in strategic bilateral ties with India, and added that much can still be achieved in terms of enhancing both defence and economic cooperation between both countries.
Mukherjee conveyed these views to Putin during their meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday evening.
He said India considered President Putin to be a great friend and the guiding force behind the strategic partnership between the two countries, and added that New Delhi is fully committed to developing and deepening this partnership in diverse areas.
Expressing his satisfaction over the outcomes from Putin’s two-day summit-level visit, President Mukherjee said enhancing the strategic partnership to a qualitatively new level in the coming years should be the objective of both governments.
“India welcomes Russian participation in India’s defence sector in joint production, research and development and offsets. The economic dimension of the bilateral relationship has huge untapped potential. Expansion of trade and economic cooperation with Russia is a priority for India,” the president said.
“India appreciates Russia’s support for India’s permanent membership of the U N Security Council and the two countries should work together to make progress in this direction. India is also grateful for Russia’s support for India’s membership of multilateral export control regimes,” he added.
On his part, Putin described his visit to New Delhi as a meaningful success. He agreed with President Mukherjee that both countries can do much better on trade, and added that Russia would be happy to enhance cooperation in various fields, including energy and defence.
President Putin greeted President Mukherjee on his 79th birthday and gifted him copies of photographs and documentary films relating to Rabindranath Tagore’s visit to Russia in 1930.