Russia, India hold talks over phone; President Vladimir Putin wishes PM Narendra Modi on his birthday

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New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a telephonic conversation to discuss joint efforts in countering the spread of novel coronavirus and other issues in strategic partnership.

President Putin conveyed his greetings on the occasion of Prime Minister Modi’s 70th birthday. PM Modi expressed his warm appreciation at the gesture.

In a press statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), it said that both leaders reiterated their strong commitment to further strengthening the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’ between the two nations, and expressed appreciation for the continued momentum in bilateral interactions despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this context, they referred to the recent visits to Moscow by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar as ‘productive’.

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“PM Modi thanked President Putin for the successful Russian Chairmanship of the SCO and BRICS this year. He conveyed his eagerness to participate in the forthcoming SCO and BRICS Summit later this year, as well as the Council of SCO Heads of Government to be hosted by India,” the statement read.

Prime Minister Modi thanked President Putin for his personal commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with India, and said that he looked forward to welcoming President Putin in India for the next bilateral summit at a mutually convenient date.

Earlier in a letter to Modi, Putin said, “Kindly accept my heartfelt congratulations on your 70th birth anniversary.”

This is the second time that the two leaders had spoken since July.

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