Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 30
In his New Year greetings to President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Narendra Modi, President of Russia Vladimir Putin has expressed hope that next year, both 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.
In his greetings, Putin also noted that Russia and India were connected by relations of privileged strategic partnership, which, despite this year’s difficulties and problems, including the pandemic, are developing confidently.
Russia was the first country India had turned to for filling up gaps in its military preparedness after the tensions on the LAC with China. Moscow had also offered the platform for high level engagements between Foreign and Defence Ministers of China and India, a move that had reduced the tensions. However, the annual India-Russia summit could not take place for the first time in two decades because in-person preparatory meetings were not held.
In his message, the Russian President also wanted both countries to maintain substantive political dialogue and carry out promising joint projects in various spheres, while cooperation within the SCO and BRICS yields good results.
Incidentally, Putin wished both the US President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden whose win he acknowledged after over a month. To Trump, he wished him and his family good health, high spirits and well-being.
With Biden, Putin noted that the pandemic and other global challenges testified to the importance of broad international cooperation and hope that by building a relationship in the spirit of equality and consideration for each other’s interests, Russia and the US could contribute much to enhancing stability and security at the regional and global levels.
Incidentally, Putin wished the leaders of over 40 countries, including the two breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Though Putin also wished several former heads of government, former PM Manmohan Singh wasn’t’ among them. Putin extended New Year greetings to Shinzo Abe, Silvio Berlusconi, George W. Bush, Robert Kocharian, Romano Prodi, Serzh Sargsyan, Nicolas Sarkozy, Francois Fillon, Tarja Halonen, King Juan Carlos I and Gerhard Schroeder.