"Will be glad to see PM Modi paying visit to Russia": Vladimir Putin
President Vladimir Putin has extended an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Russia next year.
"We will be glad to see our friend, Prime Minister Modi in Russia," Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at the Kremlin on Wednesday.
During PM Modi's visit, "We will be able to discuss all the relevant, current issues and talk to the prospects of the Russian and Indian relationship," Putin added.
Jaishankar also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
During a joint media appearance, Jaishankar expressed confidence that Prime Minister Modi and President Putin would meet for their annual summit next year, highlighting the frequent contact between the two leaders.
The summit between the Indian Prime Minister and the Russian President is a key institutional dialogue mechanism in their strategic partnership, with 21 annual summits having taken place alternately in India and Russia.
The most recent summit occurred in New Delhi in December 2021.
Putin mentioned the growing trade turnover between Russia and India, attributing it to increases in crude oil and high technology areas. He noted the steady and higher growth rate in trade turnover for the second consecutive year.
Jaishankar is on a five-day Russia visit from December 25 to 29 as a part of the ongoing high-level exchanges between the two sides.
Earlier in the day, Jaishankar met Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and held discussions on a wide range of global issues including the Indo-Pacific, the Ukraine conflict as well as Gaza.
The meeting resulted in the signing of significant agreements related to the construction of power-generating units at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.
The two leaders also discussed progress in economic cooperation, connectivity efforts, military-technical cooperation and people-to-people exchange. Jaishankar noted that ties between India and Russia reflect geopolitical realities, strategic convergence and mutual benefit.
In a post shared on X, Jaishankar stated, "A wide ranging and useful meeting with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia. As strategic partners, discussed the international situation and contemporary issues. Exchanged views on Indo-Pacific, the Ukraine conflict, the Gaza situation, Afghanistan and Central Asia, BRICS, SCO, G20 and the UN. Noted the progress in our economic cooperation, energy trade, connectivity efforts, military-technical cooperation and people to people exchanges. Signed Protocol on Consultations for the period 2024-28. India-Russia relations reflect geopolitical realities, strategic convergence and mutual benefit."
After the meeting, Jaishankar and Lavrov held a joint press conference.
Jaishankar appreciated the India-Russia trade, which is at an all-time high. He said that the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between India and the Eurasian Economic Union will resume in January next year.
The Eurasian Economic Union is an economic union of five post-Soviet states located in Eurasia.
Despite Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the relationship between India and Russia has remained robust. India has refrained from explicitly condemning Russia's actions in Ukraine, emphasising the importance of resolving the crisis through diplomatic means and dialogue.
This stance underscores India's commitment to maintaining bilateral ties with Russia, even amid international concerns over the invasion. (ANI)