Russia’s Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev has said his country and India have a special and strategic relationship in the real sense of the word because of the efforts put in by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Speaking on the occasion of Day of Russia celebrations at the embassy on Tuesday evening, Ambassador Kudashev said, “The presence of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the celebrations to mark this day at the Russian Embassy in New Delhi not only reminded many of the glorious past which both countries so proudly cherish, but it also reflects the rebuilding of the trust, which according to some quarters has been fading.”
Ambassador Kudashev thanked Swaraj for her personal valuable contribution in strengthening bilateral ties and cooperation between India and Russia.
Commenting on the friendship that exists between the two countries, Ambassador Kudashev said, “It is heartening to note that one of the first major international initiatives taken by newly born Russia was the signing of the Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation with India on January 28, 1993. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the document, as well as the 71st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries, which are one of a kind, rich in substance and unique in terms of mutual respect, trust and benefit.”
“Russia and India may proudly boast of their durable and multi-pronged ties, defining the true essence of a special and privileged strategic partnership. Annual summits, held alternately in two countries, are key events of the year providing major boosts to further advance of bilateral cooperation,” Ambassador Kudashev added.
Recalling the meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Sochi last month, Ambassador Kudashev said, “We have seen recently a new phenomenon – an informal summit – meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Sochi last month, which I had a privilege to attend and witness, the next annual summit is set for this October in India.”
“While celebrating the Day of Russia, we can proudly note that it is people-to-people contacts and mutual affinity that really makes the Russian-Indian friendship so strong. It comes as no surprise that it is our common goal to continue fulfilling the inexhaustible potential of Russia-India trade, investment, technological, scientific and cultural interaction as well as strengthening our cooperation multilaterally in the near future and beyond. Friendship and strategic partnership of Russia and India has all the prerequisites to thrive and blossom for the security and prosperity of not only our nations but also the world at large,” Ambassador Kudashev added.
The Russian Embassy in New Delhi hosted a lavish reception on Tuesday evening to mark the day which saw the entire premises lit up in a colour theme matching with their national colors. The White Hall saw a gathering of hundreds of guests – influential Indian politicians and public figures, businessmen and officials, cultural and scientific celebrities, activists of Russian-Indian friendship societies, journalists and representatives of Russian companies.
The celebration was also attended by diplomats from various countries.
Highlighting the India-Russia friendship, Praveen Pathak, spokesperson, BrahMos Aerospace, said, “India-Russia relations are time-tested. If there was any country which supported India during sanctions was only Russia. We got all the support from Russia. India reciprocated in the same way and stood by Russia in the 90s when Russia was going through a difficult period. Joint ventures like Brahmos, which emerged in 1998 supported Russian defense industries and defense institutions in a big way.”
“In fact, the first launch of Brahmos took place on 12th June 2001, on Russia Day. Today Brahmos is a shining example of India-Russia cooperation in the field of defense, which has been recognized by President Putin and PM Modi around the globe,” said Praveen Pathak, spokesperson, BrahMos Aerospace.
Udit Raj, Lok Sabha MP from North West Delhi, said, “Russia is our natural friend. But in later years we were more tilted towards western countries and the U.S. It is our mental block, which needs to be broken. There are tremendous business opportunities in Russia which need to be explored. Now, the time has come to strengthen friendly relations and to promote people’s diplomacy between India and Russia to the new high.”