Putin says ties with India special, praises Modi over foreign policy

Putin’s remarks came at a plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club, a Moscow-based think-tank on Thursday.
Vladimir Putin with Narendra Modi
Vladimir Putin with Narendra ModiFile

MOSCOW: Russia has special ties with India and they have always supported each other and will remain so in the future, President Vladimir Putin has said, as he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for pursuing an “independent foreign policy” in the interest of his country.

Putin’s remarks came at a plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club, a Moscow-based think-tank on Thursday.

He said Russia and India continue to cooperate in the military and technical areas.

“We have special ties with India that are built on the foundation of really close allied relations for decades. We never had any outstanding issues with India, we have always supported each other and I’m positive that’s how it will remain in the future as well,” Russian state media RT quoted Putin as saying.

Putin’s comments came more than a month after Prime Minister Modi told him that today’s era is not of war as they met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan in September. India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

“PM Modi is one of those individuals in the world who is able to pursue an independent foreign policy in the interest of his country, and his people without any attempts to stop him,” said Putin.

Russia has been a major supplier of military hardware to India. In October 2018, India signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, notwithstanding a warning by the US.

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