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SOURCE: UNI

Russia on Tuesday reaffirmed that its relations with India are ‘unique’ and said ”it is not just a friend, but a soulmate of India”. In a statement here, the Russian Embassy said both countries enjoy special partnership, which is a source of support of national development strategies of both countries, including ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

Strongly reacting to an article ”Russia is not a friend of India” in a local newspaper, the Embassy said it appears to be ‘misleading’ in terms of true understanding of the entire course of development, current state and prospects of the Russian-Indian strategic partnership.

The Embassy said it should be admitted that the article demonstrates ”lack of knowledge of the modern Russian realities that equates relevant assessments with geopolitically motivated groundless and biased approach by some Western news agencies”.

It said the article diminished dedicated contribution of the people of the two great and friendly nations, who made the proud bilateral achievements possible.

‘Russia enjoys productive and trusted relations with all political forces of the country,” it asserted. It said that major early bilateral steps were taken, when the Indian National Congress was in power.

These included establishing diplomatic ties even before the Indian independence was officially announced, large contribution in the accelerated industrialisation, mutual support in crucial events of the Cold War, including in 1971, and the Declaration of the Strategic Partnership signed during the tenure of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which took the Indo-Russian cooperation forward.

The statement said relations between the two countries were marked by unparalleled joint endeavours in nuclear power sector or trusted Defence cooperation with technology transfer, advanced localisation of production and even cooperation with third countries.

It said ”Indians think Russians are India’s permanent friends. It is the same for the Russians. Especially today, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are witnessing how much our mutual support means when it comes to helping repatriation of nationals of both countries, supplies of vital medicines, as well as deep cooperation on vaccines.”

Describing the Russian-Indian ties as ‘unique,’ it said these cannot be harmed by a single misleading article, which by no means have any link to the reality and of course, does not reflect any official position.