Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Russian President Vladimir Putin at Hyderabad House in New Delhi for the 21st annual India-Russia summit.
This is the first in-person between them since they met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in 2019 in Brasilia.
India-Russia ties continues to become stronger
During their meeting, PM Modi hailed the strategic partnership between the two nations and highlighted that despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there is no change in the pace of growth of India-Russia relations.
PM Modi said, "Our special and privileged strategic partnership continues to become stronger."
He added that the relation between India and Russia is truly a unique and reliable model of interstate friendship.
Putin on Indo-Russia ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the Indo-Russia ties, adding that they perceive India as a great power, a friendly nation and a time-tested friend.
He further said that the relations between India and Russia are "growing" and he is looking into the future.
He added, "Currently, mutual investments stand at about 38 billion with a bit more investment coming from the Russian side. We cooperate greatly in the military and technical sphere like no other country. We develop high technologies together as well as produce in India."
Putin 'concerned' about terrorism
During the crucial summit, Putin raised important issues such as, terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime. He said, "We're concerned about everything that has to do with terrorism. Fight against terrorism is also a fight against drug trafficking and organised crime."
Speaking in the same context, Putin said that Russia is concerned about the developments of the situation in Afghanistan.
'Specially privileged' Russian-Indian relations
Ahead of his visit, Putin had said on Wednesday that he intends to discuss with the Indian Prime Minister new "large-scale" initiatives on further developing "specially privileged" Russian-Indian relations.
"This partnership brings real mutual benefit to both states. Bilateral trade shows good dynamics; ties are actively developing in the energy sector, innovation, space, and the production of coronavirus vaccines and medicines," Putin had said.
28 agreements were concluded
A total of 28 agreements were concluded between India and Russia and the leaders discussed a range of issues such as defence, military cooperation, trade, investment, environment, cross-border terrorism, etc.
During the post-summit press conference, India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that the fact that President Putin decided to visit India for the annual summit is an indication of the importance he attaches to the bilateral relationship and his personal rapport with PM Modi.
PM Modi gives exquisite gift to Putin
PM Modi gifted exquisite Agate Bowls to President Putin made by the tribal community and artisans of Gujarat, which is the western state of India.
Agates — known for their finesse and brightness — are hard semi-precious stones, used as a gemstone in ornaments and found all over the world in places including India, Asia, the USA, Africa, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Italy and Nepal.
In India, it is found predominantly in Khambhat, in the western part of Gujarat as artisans make beautiful ornaments and decor articles — one such article is Agate Bowls, which has been gifted by PM Modi to the Russian President.
The making of Agate Bowls needs remarkable craftsmanship as it is created from a single stone, without any joins.
2+2 Ministerial Dialogue
The visit is in continuation of the tradition of annual summits held alternately in India and Russia. Earlier in the day, the two countries held their first 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
The two countries on Monday signed an agreement for the procurement of 6,01,427 assault rifles AK-203 through Indo-Russia Rifles Pvt Ltd, under the military-technical cooperation arrangement for 2021-31.