Our National Day is celebrated on June 12 for more than two decades now. It is one of Russia’s youngest holidays. It marks the establishment of Russia as a sovereign country after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. In these years, the ties between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India have transformed into a unique international phenomenon immune to any changes in domestic political environment or vagaries in the international arena. Since 2000, when Vladimir Putin and A.B.Vajpayee signed the path-breaking Declaration on Strategic Partnership, Russian-Indian relations have steadily progressed on the basis of respect, trust and mutual benefit.
The participation of the President of India, P. Mukherjee, in the celebrations of the 70th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) has demonstrated not only India’s high respect for the key role of my country in defeating Nazism, but has also reaffirmed the special and privileged character of Russia-India multifaceted cooperation. We highly value India’s solidarity with Russia in days of rain or shine.
It is symbolic that in 2015 the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, will travel to Russia twice – for the BRICS summit in Ufa (the Urals region) in July and for the annual bilateral summit later in autumn. This year will see the 16th meeting of the leaders of Russia and India in this format. We march ahead with confidence, planning our mutual endeavours for decades to come. The potential of Russia-India trade, investment, technological, scientific and cultural interaction is inexhaustible indeed.
While celebrating the Day of Russia we proudly note that it is people-to people contacts and mutual affection that really makes Russian-Indian friendship so strong and unique. This fruitful year is enriched with the Indian cultural festival “Namaste, Russia!” inaugurated by President P. Mukherjee recently in Moscow and a series of film shows and seminars in India dedicated to the Year of Russian Literature.
There is no doubt that in the years ahead our countries will open up new vistas and horizons of cooperation. Friendship and strategic partnership of Russia and India has all the prerequisites to thrive and blossom for the security and prosperity of our nations and the world at large.
Jai Rus! Jai Hind!
New Delhi, June 12, 2015