The two leaders met for 40 minutes on the sidelines of the BRICS summit here late last night after their Monday meeting was deferred because of Putin's engagements in Brazil's capital Brasilia.

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"Talked about strengthening Russia-India ties in my meeting with President Putin. We value our friendship with Russia," Modi tweeted after his meeting with Putin.

Modi, who has met Putin in 2001 in Moscow, expressed appreciation for Russia's friendship and unstinting bilateral and international support for India's economic development and security since the early days of India's Independence, said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office.

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Speaking in Hindi, he remarked, "Even a child in India if asked to say who is India's best friend will reply it is Russia because Russia has been with India in times of crisis."

Modi stresses on deepening ties with Russia during his meeting with Putin in BRICS summit
India and Russia have always enjoyed warm and friendly relations with both nations extending co-operation towards each other
Modi calls Russia India’s best friend and said its ties with Russia is time-tested and it’s there since Independence

During the meeting, Modi reaffirmed that relations with Russia will continue to enjoy the priority that they always had in India's foreign policy.

"The Prime Minister conveyed his sincere appreciation and admiration for President Putin's decisive leadership in deepening and expanding the India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership," said a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.

Modi said he looks forward to working with Putin to further deepen and broad-base the strategic partnership, including in the areas of defence, nuclear energy, space, energy, trade and investment, people-to-people contacts and addressing regional and global challenges.

The statement said Modi conveyed his sincere appreciation for Putin's decisive leadership in deepening and expanding the "India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership".

Liberal Visa Regime

The Prime Minister said there was need to look at a liberal visa regime, especially students going for studies.
President Putin acknowledged that there was a case for looking at it, MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.

Putin congratulated Modi over his victory in India's general elections.

Putin’s Delhi visit

The two leaders looked forward to their annual summit in New Delhi in December 2014 as an opportunity to outline a bold vision and roadmap for their relationship in the years ahead, the statement added.

Modi suggested that Putin should travel outside Delhi when he comes for the annual summit in December and visit a nuclear power plant, a reference to Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu which has been set up in technical cooperation with Russia.

Putin responded saying "it is a good idea".

Units 1 and 2 of Tamil Nadu-based Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) have been built with the help of Russian assistance at the cost of Rs 17,200 crore.
India and Russia signed a General Framework Agreement on unit 3 and 4 in April this year after crossing the initial hurdles of the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act 2010.
Modi fondly recalled his visit to Russia's Astrakan region in his early days as Chief Minister of Gujarat which has ties with that region. Talking about that visit, he said he felt as if he was in India.

Putin said Russia places its relations with India high enough in the strategic framework. Nuclear power project has been a symbol of India-Russia relations.

Modi said he looked forward to visiting Russia in 2015.
Modi appreciated Putin's speech at the BRICS summit saying it was clear on issues like reforms of the UN Security Council and international financial organisations.
The two leaders looked forward to their Annual Summit in Delhi in December 2014 as an opportunity to outline a bold vision and roadmap for their relationship in the years ahead.


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