The participants at a Round-Table Discussion “New Term of Mr. Vladimir V. Putin and New Prospects of Bilateral Relations between Russia and India”, organised at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in New Delhi on May 7, 2012, were unanimous in visualizing a bright future for Russia with Mr. Vladimir Putin in the helm of affairs of the country and brilliant prospects in Indo-Russian relations.
A cream of politicians, academics and scholars, and journalists took part in the Round-Table, which was preceded by watching the direct live telecast from Moscow on the inauguration of President Vladimir Putin, who was sworn in as Head of State of the Russian Federation at a Grand Ceremony in Kremlin today.
Before relinquishing his office, Mr. Dmitry Medvedev thanked the citizens of Russia, his colleagues, and others who did their level-best in fulfilling his duties as the Head of State. He expressed the hope that with the transfer of power to Mr. Vladimir Putin, the hopes and aspirations of the people would be materialised and excellent relations with other countries of the world strengthened. After taking the oath, President Mr. Vladimir Putin promised to keep aloft the declared objectives of the country and foreign policy perceptions, and safeguarding the social justice, economic progress, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
Mr. Gadzhi M. Akhmedov, Deputy Head, RCSC, welcomed the participants of the Round-Table Discussion and expressed his gratitude in sharing the proud moments of the significant day in the history of Russia.
Presiding over the discussion, Prof. R. Kumar, President, INDAPRYAL, congratulated Mr. Vladimir Putin on assuming the Presidency of Russia with the hope that he would infuse new momentum and dynamism through his leadership and guidance enabling Russia to reach to its earlier status as a world power. Referring to education and culture as spheres providing stability and permanency to relations, he noted that peoples’ diplomacy remained imperative in sustaining the relations. He traced the background of Russian language studies to mid-sixties, which with passage of time has brought the peoples of both sides nearer.
Mr. Sergey Karmalito, Senior Counsellor, Embassy of the Russian Federation in India, noted that relations with India always remained a priority concern in the foreign policy of Russia and with the change of leadership the bilateral relations would reach new heights.
Major Dalbir Singh, Secretary, All-India Congress Committee, pointed out that it was gratifying to note that with Mr. Vladimir Putin taking over as the new President of Russia would steer clear economic progress and making the country strong, as also going ahead with consistent efforts aimed at a multi-polar world.
Prof. Arun Mohanty, Director, Eurasian Foundation, noted that the very interest of Mr. Vladimir Putin from his early childhood in India stood him in good stead in leaving a new impetus in bilateral relations with India. He added that it was imperative to give serious consideration to energy and defence sectors in our bilateral relationship.
Mr. John Cherian, Associate Editor, Frontline, The Hindu Group of Publications, underscored the point that Mr. Vladimir Putin had to be credited with taking Indo-Russian relations to a higher plane. It is interesting to observe that India and Russia put up a united front during the recent BRICS Summit in New Delhi, and that has been testified in the case of Syrian and Iranian issues.
Mr. K.L. Malhotra, Vice President, India-Russia Chamber of Commerce, said that it was Mr. Vladimir Putin who concretised our relations and institutionalised the dialogue mechanism. He stressed the need for liberalisation of visa and strengthening exchange programmes.
Mr. Nandan Unnikrishnan, Vice President & Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, said that lot of similarities and synergies were in existence in both countries. He called upon the policy planners to be more realistic in terms of establishing excellent bilateral relations.
Mrs. Nivedita Das Kundu, Foreign Policy Analyst and Assistant Director, Research and Publications Division, Indian Council of Social Science Research, said that the return of Mr. Vladimir Putin as Russian President is a happy experience for India. She noted that the Russian President has new challenges and he would hopefully tackle them in a successful manner.
Mr. Shekhar Iyer, Associate Editor, Hindustan Times, in his observation pointed out that a lot of messages are there in the address made by both Mr. Dmitry Medvedev and Mr. Vladimir Putin to the people at large. India wanted to see a strong Russia, and we are looking forward to Russia emerging out as a world power.
Mr. Ranjit Kumar, Diplomatic Editor, Nav Bharat Times, The Times of India Group of Publications, said that with the new leadership Russia would emerge as a strong power. He made an indication that presently the Indo-Russian trade turnover is not commensurate with the development in other spheres. In this context, he emphasised on further promotion of bilateral trade. On defence front, he cited that there is good future.
Dr. R. B. Singh, GeneralSecretary, India-Russia Friendship Society, Mrs. Purnima Anand, General Secretary, Indo-Russian Youth Clubs, and Dr. Krishna Bir Chowdhary, President, Bharatiya Krishak Samaj shared their impressions on the occasion.