The message reads, in part:
“I am sincerely glad that the in 2008 we are witnessing such a significant event in our bilateral relations, namely the Year of Russia in India. This ambitious friendship festival is a natural extension of our countries' policy to fully consolidate our strategic partnership.
Relations between Russia and India go back more than a century, and throughout history our peoples have always retained their sincere respect, warm feelings and good relations with one another. Our friendship is not based on hasty calculations, and is not subject to a given political situation. At its core lies a convergence of our key national interests of mutual cultural and spiritual attraction.
Today multifaceted cooperation between Russia and India has reached a qualitatively new level of development. Hosting each other's national years acts as tangible proof of this.
I am confident that the successful implementation of planned activities will uncover new opportunities for expanding bilateral business and cultural cooperation, and for direct communication between our citizens. The Year of Russia in India has provided for numerous concerts, business forums, presentations, exhibitions, conferences, seminars, meetings and other interesting events. They will allow the citizens of India to gain a more complete picture of modern Russia and its achievements, as well as promote extensive contacts between academics, figures active in science and culture, businessmen, and representatives of the youth of both countries. This will undoubtedly give a fresh impetus to the long-term sustained development of the partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and India”.