Narendra Modi seeks stronger defence, nuclear ties with Russia

Fortaleza (Brazil)/New Delhi: India is keen to further deepen and broad-base its strategic partnership with Russia, including in defence, nuclear energy, trade and investment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin in Brazil and invited him to visit Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pic/PTI

Modi, who met Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit at Fortaleza on Tuesday, expressed appreciation for Russia's friendship and unstinting bilateral and international support for India's economic development and security since the early days of India's Independence, said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office.

During the meeting, which lasted about 40 minutes, Modi reaffirmed that relations with Russia will continue to enjoy the priority that they always had in India's foreign policy.

Modi said he looks forward to working with Putin to further deepen and broad-base the strategic partnership, including in the areas of defence, nuclear energy, space, energy, trade and investment, people-to-people contacts and addressing regional and global challenges.

The statement said Modi conveyed his sincere appreciation for Putin's decisive leadership in deepening and expanding the "India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership".Putin congratulated Modi over his victory in India's general elections.

The two leaders looked forward to their annual summit in New Delhi in December 2014 as an opportunity to outline a bold vision and roadmap for their relationship in the years ahead, the statement added. Modi said he looked forward to visiting Russia in 2015.

Modi suggested that Putin should travel outside Delhi when he comes for the annual summit in December and visit a nuclear power plant, a reference to Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu which has been set up in technical cooperation with Russia.

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