Putin Discusses Top-Level Cooperation With New Indian Prime Minister

MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and India’s incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi have discussed plans for future top-level contacts, the Kremlin said Friday.

“The Russian President congratulated Modi with the victory in the elections and a rise to the position of Prime Minister of India. Both sides emphasized the continuance of traditionally friendly Russian-Indian relations, which have been steadily developing based on the Declaration of Strategic Partnership,” the Kremlin’s press office said in a statement.

According to the statement, the parties expressed readiness for further cooperation in trade, economy, science and other fields, as well as coordination on key international issues, including within the UN, G20 and BRICS.

Modi, the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will be inaugurated as India’s Prime Minister on May 26. The opposition BJP was recently announced the winner of the general elections conducted from April 7 to May 12.

The BPJ-led National Democratic Alliance won the majority of seats in the Indian parliament in 1999 and remained in power until 2004, when it lost the general election to another major Indian party, the Indian National Congress.

While Russia is a major supplier of arms to India, bilateral relations were soured by the fatal accident of the Russian-built submarine Sindhurakshak, which sank last August in the port of Mumbai following a series of explosions.

Relations were also strained by delays in the delivery of the Russian-built Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. Russia is also involved in building a series of nuclear power plants in India.

In February 2013, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters in New Delhi that India may sign a cooperation treaty with the customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

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