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Modi seeks stronger defence ties, invites Putin to Kudankulam

New Delhi, July 16 India is keen to deepen its strategic partnership with Russia in defence, nuclear energy, trade and investment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin in Brazil and invited him to visit the Kudankulam nuclear plant during his visit to India later this year.

Modi, who met Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit at Fortaleza 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 (PMO).

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.

Modi later tweeted that India values its friendship with Russia.

“Talked about strengthening Russia-India ties in my meeting with President Putin. We value our friendship with Russia,” Modi said in a tweet.

The PMO 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 on his victory in India’s general elections.

The two leaders said they 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.

The prime minister 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 the Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu which has been set up in technical cooperation with Russia.

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