President Vladimir Putin: Madam Gandhi, I am very glad to meet with you again.
I must say that when we met in 2005 we discussed holding the Year of India in Russia and that of Russia in India – and it was for the first time we discussed this idea.. And now these are planned interstate and intergovernmental events.
These can be successful events that can become more than simply cultural events. I am confident that they will facilitate direct contacts between our countries’ citizens.
We have had good experiences in carrying out such large-scale events with other countries. I am confident that these events with India will be successful ones. Today Mr Prime Minister and I planned a whole package of joint projects and we are confident – and hope – that the Indian National Congress will support all our endeavours.
Head of Indian National Congress Party Sonia Gandhi (Back translation): There is no doubt about that.
I am glad to welcome you. It is especially pleasant that you are staying to participate in our national holiday – this acts as proof of the special relations and special ties that exist between our countries.
Mr President, of course you are an outstanding world leader and we also consider you to be a very good India’s friend. I want to say that our countries’ relations have been constantly developing for the past few decades and this is especially important in view of the significant geopolitical changes that have occurred during this time.
Our cooperation has developed during this time and taken on a special value. Therefore, it is especially pleasant for me that talks between Mr President and our Prime Minister were a success. My party will support you as much as possible.
Vladimir Putin: Thanks very much.