New Delhi (NVI) Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent New Year greetings to his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and expressed hope that in 2021, the two countries would “continue to work towards stepping up constructive bilateral cooperation as well as coordinating efforts to address topical issues on the regional and global agendas.”
Putin’s greetings came against the backdrop of a claim made in an Indian media report last week that Russia was unhappy with India over Quad, which is a grouping of India, US, Japan and Australia.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin extended his greetings on the New Year 2021 to President of the Republic of India Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi,” the Russian Embassy here said.
Putin “noted that Russia and India were connected by relations of privileged strategic partnership, which, despite this year’s difficulties and problems, including the coronavirus pandemic, are developing confidently,” it said.
“Vladimir Putin stressed that the two countries maintain a substantive political dialogue and carry out promising joint projects in various spheres, while cooperation within the SCO and BRICS yields good results,” the Embassy said.
The gesture by Putin makes it clear that he is keen to maintain and develop the strategic relations between the two countries, irrespective of the Quad.
Last week, an Indian media report had claimed that there was “unease” in Russia because of Quad and that had led to postponement of bilateral annual summit this year for the first time in two decades.
Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev had rubbished that media claim as “false information”.
“Find it to be far from reality. Special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India is progressing well despite the COVID-19,” the Ambassador had said in a statement.
“Staying in a close touch with our Indian friends to work out new dates for the summit, postponed due to epidemiological reasons,” he added.
“We are confident that it will be held in the near future, while the Russian-Indian relations will continue its further development,” the Ambassador had asserted.