Modi celebrates Russia-India friendship during Moscow visit – HEADLINE

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Relations between New Delhi and the Kremlin are based on “mutual trust and respect”, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, addressing the Indian diaspora on the second day of his official trip to Moscow.

“The commitment of our relationship has been tested time and again, and it has grown stronger each time,” Narendra Modi said, adding that he thanked his “dear friend” Vladimir Putin for it.

Narendra Modi's visit to Russia coincides with a NATO summit in Washington, where the Ukraine war is expected to be at the heart of discussions, although a senior Indian foreign ministry official said last week that the state trip had been long-planned.

Vladimir Putin hosted Narendra Modi on Monday evening, praising the Indian leader as his “friend” and saying he was “very happy” to meet him, Russian news agency TASS reported.

When Narendra Modi shared a picture of his hug with his Russian counterpart on social media, it was a relief to see the leader of the world's largest democracy hugging the world's bloodiest criminal in Moscow on such a day.”

Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi are scheduled to hold formal talks in the Kremlin today, focusing on cheaper energy supplies and closer economic and strategic ties.

New Delhi is seeking an investment deal with Moscow, as well as a free trade agreement with the Russia-dominated Eurasian Economic Union. The two countries are also in discussions to jointly produce military equipment.

(Reporting by Krishn Kaushik and Shivam Patel, writing by Tanvi Mehta; French version by Leo Marchandon)


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