Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, let me once again wish you a warm welcome to Moscow. I think we spent a useful and pleasant several hours in discussion yesterday. Our talks began yesterday evening. Today I would like to once again note the intensity with which ties between India and the Russian Federation are developing.
Our ties are developing in the political sphere, on the international stage, and we are very glad of this, but they are also strengthening in the area of military-technical cooperation and in the economic sphere in general. We are seeing positive growth in our economic relations. During our best years, the 1980s, Russia accounted for approximately $3.5 billion of the foreign trade turnover between the Soviet Union and India. Over the first nine months of 2003, we have reached a figure of $2 billion. There is room for further growth, but the pace is good.
There is plenty for us to discuss, as we share many mutual interests and problems. We are very pleased to see you here, Mr Prime Minister.