Putin: Russia, India developing «privileged strategic partnership»

Russia and India are developing a "privileged strategic partnership," Russian President Vladimir Putin told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

Putin praised the countries' close economic and diplomatic collaboration, state news agency TASS reported.

Modi, who is in Moscow for a two-day annual bilateral summit, expressed his condolences to Putin regarding the recent downing of two Russian planes because of the conflict in Syria.

Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border last month, and weeks earlier a Russian airliner carrying more than 200 people exploded while flying over Egypt because of a bomb linked to the terrorist organization Islamic State.

Modi described the incidents as a huge tragedy and said the people of India were mourning together with Russia, TASS reported.

Putin's spokesman said Thursday that the leaders were expected to sign a number of deals, including facilitating customs regulations and travel for the countries' citizens, and involving Russian state companies Rosatom and Russian Railways.

Modi arrived in Moscow on Wednesday evening and had a private dinner with Putin, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Modi intends to boost economic collaboration during his visit, including promoting "Make in India," an Indian government initiative to support manufacturing in that country, according to a statement on his website.

India, which is one of the Russian defence industry's biggest customers, has enjoyed close ties with the country since the Soviet era.

The leaders of India and Russia have hosted annual bilateral summits since 2000, as part of a strategic partnership agreed between Putin and India's prime minister at the time.

Last update: Thu, 24/12/2015 - 16:04
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