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PM in Russia: A short trip for longer ties

November 13, 2007
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday wound up his 28-hour-long official visit to Russia for the 8th annual summit, shortest in the history of bilateral relations between the two countries.

The prime minister's 'short' visit reflected the Indo-Russian equation in the post-Putin era -- the Russian leader, who restored amity and purpose in the relationship after the drift of the Yeltsin years, will remit office in May at the end of two terms in office.

Dr Singh, who was received at the airport by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov, said India is committed to further deepen its partnership with Russia in the field of trade and investment, defence, energy security, science and technology and other areas of mutual interest.

Observing that India's relations with Russia have traditionally been a factor of peace and stability in the region and beyond, Dr Singh said he was convinced that the strong fundamentals of mutual trust and shared world view on regional and global issues will continue to bring the two countries closer in a dynamic international environment.

Dispelling media speculations of a 'chill' in bilateral ties, Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly welcomed Dr Singh, hoping that he would feel the 'warmth' of Russian hearts.

"I hope that in spite of the chilly winter weather in Moscow, you will be able to feel the warmth of our hearts, noble and very friendly attitude towards your country," Putin said, welcoming Dr Singh in the ornate Green Drawing room of the Kremlin Palace at the start of their summit.

Image: Russian President Vladimir Putin with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Kremlin.
Photograph: Dmitry Astakhov/AFP/Getty Images
'Ours is a strategic partnership'

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