Moscow, Dec 27 (PTI): President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Russia next year as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on the Russian leader at the Kremlin.
“We will be glad to see our friend, Mr. Prime Minister Modi in Russia,” Putin told Jaishankar.
Jaishankar, who is here on a five-day official visit to Russia, earlier met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
During a joint media appearance along with Lavrov after their talks, Jaishankar said he was confident that Prime Minister Modi and President Putin will meet for an annual summit next year. In his opening remarks earlier, Jaishankar said that the two leaders have been in frequent contact.
The summit between the prime minister of India and the Russian president is the highest institutional dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between the two sides.
“Honoured to call on President Vladimir Putin this evening. Conveyed the warm greetings of PM @narendramodi and handed over a personal message. Apprised President Putin of my discussions with Ministers Manturov and Lavrov. Appreciated his guidance on the further developments of our ties,” Jaishankar said in his post on X.
So far, 21 annual summits have taken place alternatively in India and Russia. The last summit took place in New Delhi in December 2021.
Putin also said that the trade turnover between Russia and India is growing, particularly on account of crude oil and high technology areas.
“Our trade turnover is growing, for the second year in a row at the same time and at a steady pace. The growth rate this year is even higher than in the last year,” he said.
On Tuesday, Jaishankar held a “comprehensive and productive” meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov on the bilateral economic cooperation during which they witnessed the signing of some “very important” agreements related to the construction of the future power-generating units of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.
The ties between India and Russia remained strong notwithstanding Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
India’s import of Russian crude oil has gone up significantly despite increasing disquiet over it in many Western countries. PTI ZH AKJ AMS
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