Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday, wishing him good health, happiness, well-being and success. In a letter written to Modi that was shared with CNN-News18, Putin said he values the kind, friendly relations that have developed between the two over the last few years. “Kindly accept my heartfelt congratulations on your 70th birth anniversary,” he wrote.
Paying compliments to Modi about his work, Putin said his activity as the Indian Prime Minister has earned him the well-deserved respect of compatriots and high international prestige. “Under your leadership India is successfully moving along the path of socio-economic, scientific and technical development,” he said.
Modi and Putin share a good personal rapport that has further strengthened the dependable India-Russia partnership. Modi was the first world leader to speak to Putin and congratulate him in July after Russian voters approved changes to the constitution that will allow him to hold power until 2036.
Russia has over the last few months played a crucial role in trying to defuse tensions between India and China following the standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Last week, Moscow acted as a mediator at a trilateral meeting among the foreign ministers of Russia, India, and China, bringing New Delhi and Beijing together following fresh clashes in Ladakh.
Emphasising the friendly relations between the two countries, Putin, in his letter, said he looks forward to continuing the constructive dialogue with Modi and working closely together on topical issues of the bilateral and international agenda.
“It is hard to overestimate your personal contribution to the strengthening of the special and privileged strategic partnership between our countries,” he added.
The close ties with Russia will also help India in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund agreed to supply 10 crore doses of its coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik-V, to Indian drug company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.
Dr Reddy’s, one of India’s top pharmaceutical companies, will carry out Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine in India, pending regulatory approval, the Russian Direct Investment Fund said in a statement. The deal comes after the RDIF reached agreements with Indian manufacturers to produce 30 crore doses of the vaccine in India.