Modi conveyed this message to visiting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin, who called on him here to convey President Vladimir Putin’s greetings and his desire to work with him to further strengthen and deepen the ‘special and privileged strategic partnership’ between the two countries.

Modi told Rogozin that he looks forward to ‘a productive, substantive and forward-looking’ Summit with the Russian President later this year.

“Prime Minister described Russia as a time-tested and reliable friend that had stood with India in difficult times and a major partner in building India`s defence capabilities, for which Russia enjoys enormous goodwill in India. Prime Minister expressed his intention to take the relationship to a higher level.,” a release from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.

The Prime Minister also recalled his recent visit to INS Vikramaditya on June 14 and thanked Rogozin for Russian contribution to the realisation of a major milestone in India`s naval capabilities.

Earlier on Saturday, the Prime Minister dedicated India’s largest warship INS Vikramaditya to the nation and pitched for making the country self-reliant in manufacturing defence equipment and even capable of imports.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Nripendra Misra and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval were present during today’s meeting.

India-Russia relations

Relations with Russia are a key pillar of India's foreign policy and Russia has been a longstanding time-tested partner of India.

Since the signing of “Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership” in October 2000 (during the visit of President
Vladimir Putin to India), India-Russia ties have acquired a qualitatively new character  with enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship including political, security, trade and economy, defense, science and technology and
culture.

Under the Strategic Partnership, several institutionalized dialogue mechanisms operate at both political and official levels to ensure regular interaction and follow up on cooperation activities. During the visit of Russian President to India in December 2010, the Strategic Partnership was elevated to the level of a “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership”.

(JPN)

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