The two leaders discussed further development of the strategic partnership between Russia and India, and bolstering the share of innovation and high-tech cooperation in the two countries’ bilateral trade and economic ties.
Mr Putin noted too, that the process of India’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a full-fledged member is now beginning.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, friends, it is a great pleasure to welcome you to Russia.
Let me start this conversation by noting an important event: we are starting the process of India’s full-fledged accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. We also want to thank you for the active support you have given our country’s presidency in the BRICS group.
At this summit, we will adopt the BRICS countries’ long-term economic partnership strategy and launch the start of practical work on the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement.
Of course, I am also pleased to have this chance to discuss our bilateral strategic relations and their development.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (retranslated): First of all, Mr President, I want to thank you for this very warm reception you have given my delegation and I.
We began this journey to the BRICS summit in 2009, and today we are seeing the results. We have important events ahead at this BRICS summit.
The President of India visited Russia in May. I thank you for the warm reception you gave him. Later this year, another India-Russia summit will take place and I will have the chance to come to Russia.
If I have the chance to visit Astrakhan, I would like to do so, because when I was governor of my native state of Gujarat, there were, and still are, brotherly relations between Gujarat and Astrakhan. I see now that you have this good tradition of organising various summits in different venues. Perhaps we could organise our summit in Astrakhan.
On June 21, we celebrated International Yoga Day. We know that Russia was a co-sponsor of our proposal on this at the UN, but what is also pleasing to see is that this event was celebrated all around Russia, throughout the regions, on a big scale and with everyone taking part and full of enthusiasm. I thank you for this. I think that young people, with their general interest in living a healthy lifestyle, found a lot of inspiration here.
We hope that India will soon become a full-fledged member of the SCO. This will happen during Russia’s presidency in the SCO. You called me and spoke about this, and I am grateful to you.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister,
I have tried many things, but never yoga, but it cannot fail to attract. I will see what my level of fitness allows, but when you see real yogis, it seems that it would be impossible to reach that kind of skill, and that’s what stops me.
But we really do cherish and take genuine deep interest in Indian culture, and so all of our ties, including in humanitarian areas, are extremely important to us and we will continue to develop all of these areas.