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Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in Russia on May 21.(AP Photo)

PM Modi meets Putin in Sochi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India and Russia have been friends for a long time and thanked Vladimir Putin for inviting him for the first-ever informal meeting at Sochi.

WT24 Desk

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Russian President Vladimir Putin for an informal summit at Sochi on Monday. Modi said the strategic partnership between India and Russia has now been elevated into a “special privileged strategic partnership”, PTI reports.

Modi said India and Russia have been friends for a long time and thanked President Putin for inviting him for the first-ever informal meeting at the city on the Black Sea coast.

Modi recalled his first visit to Russia with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001 and said Putin was the first world leader whom he met after becoming the chief minister of Gujarat.

He said the seeds of the ‘strategic partnership’ sown by then Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Putin has now grown into a “special privileged strategic partnership” between the two countries.

Modi thanked Russia for playing a major role in helping India get a ermanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – an eight nation bloc which aims at military and economic cooperation between the member states. India and Pakistan were admitted last year into the organisation.

“We are working together on International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and BRICS,” Modi said. Welcoming Prime Minister Modi to Sochi, Putin said his visit would give a fresh impetus to bilateral ties.

He said Russia and India have been cooperating on several fronts in the multilateral and the international fora. He also mentioned military-to-military cooperation between the two countries.

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