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Russia remains an all-weather friend of India: PM Modi

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New Delhi, July 9: Spotlighting the strong bilateral ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that Russia is India’s “sukh-dukh ka saathi” (an all-weather friend), with the friendship between both countries based on “mutual trust and respect.”

Addressing an Indian diaspora event in Moscow, PM Modi said, “I am happy that India and Russia are working shoulder-to-shoulder to give new energy to global prosperity. Every person in this room, and all Indians in Russia, are strengthening the India-Russia bond. You have contributed to Russia with your honesty and hard work.”

He added: “Every Indian knows in their heart that when they hear the word ‘Russia’, the emotion that comes to their mind and heart is that Russia is India’s ‘sukh-dukh ka saathi’ (all-weather friend),” said Prime Minister Modi.

The “warm” relationship between the two countries, he said, is based on mutual trust and respect. Prime Minister Modi also acknowledged Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to strengthen the partnership.

“I would especially like to appreciate the leadership of my dear friend, President Putin. He has done a wonderful job to further strengthen this partnership for more than two decades. “In the past decade, this is the sixth time that I have come to Russia. In these years, we have met each other 17 times. These meetings have grown trust and respect. When Indian students were stuck in the conflict, President Putin helped us in bringing them back to India,” said the Prime Minister while thanking “friend” Putin and the people of Russia.

Recalling the contribution of Bollywood in strengthening the friendship between the two nations, the Prime Minister said, “A song was once sung in every household, ‘Sir pe laal topi Rusi, phir bhi dil hai Hindustani’… It may be decades old, but the sentiments remain evergreen. Actors like Raj Kapoor, Mithun da, and many others have strengthened the cultural bond between India and Russia.”

Additionally, PM Modi also announced that India will open two new consulates in Russia – in Kazan and Yekaterinburg, adding to the ones in Saint Petersburg and Vladivostok, besides the Embassy in Moscow. This, he assured, would further enhance travel, business and trade between the two nations.

IANS

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