September 16, 2022
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, my friend. To my Indian friends, I would like to welcome you all once again.
Mr Prime Minister,
First of all, I want to start our meeting by personally congratulating you and the entire friendly nation of India on the holiday you celebrated last month: I mean the 75th anniversary of independence of the Republic of India. I wish India all the best.
I also know that tomorrow is your birthday, my dear friend. According to Russian tradition, you are not supposed to wish anyone an early happy birthday, therefore I can’t do it, but I would like you to know that we remembered, we know about it and wish you all the best anyway, to you as well as to the people of India; we wish prosperity to the friendly country of India that you lead.
Bilateral relations can be characterised as a privileged strategic partnership, and they continue to develop actively. We are actively cooperating on international platforms and discussing all global developments, including unfavourable ones at times.
I know your position on the conflict in Ukraine and the concerns that you constantly express. We will do our best to make it stop as soon as possible. However, unfortunately, the opposing side, the leadership of Ukraine, announced that it was abandoning the negotiation process and declared that it wants to achieve its goals by military means, “on the battlefield,” as they say. Nevertheless, we will always keep you informed of what is happening there.
We are actively working at the SCO, and today’s summit of the SCO heads of state, which I believe was very successful, is the best proof of it. It is important that we constantly coordinate our positions despite coronavirus-related restrictions: we had telephone conversations four times, and our staff are always in touch.
I would like to thank you for your video greetings for the participants of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
I fondly recall my own visit to New Delhi last December and my fruitful talks with you. I would like to use this occasion to invite you to visit Russia.
Clearly, constructive relations are developing in the economic sphere. Trade is growing, including due to additional deliveries of Russian fertilisers to the Indian market, as you asked. The volume of fertilisers delivered from Russia to India increased by more than eight times – not by some percentage, but by more than eight times. I hope that this will help Indian farmers to manage the difficult challenge of providing food for the country’s population.
Large joint projects in the oil and gas sector and in the nuclear power industry are being consistently implemented. For Russians, the rich history and ancient culture of India are traditionally of great interest, and in this regard, we propose intensifying the talks on an agreement on visa-free tourist travel. We could also think about holding cross years of Russia and India in 2024.