(Trivandrum, Russian Centre of Science and Culture)
New Delhi, December 7, 2014
Dear Natasha Benyukh,
Dear friends and colleagues,
It is a matter of honour for me to inaugurate the 9th All-India Listeners’ Conference of the Sputnik Radio (former Voice of Russia), and especially warm greetings go to the veteran of the Radio’s South Asian Department Special Correspondent Natasha Benyukh, as also representatives of younger generation of Russian specialists in Indian culture Ms Ksenia Galichenko and the Website Editor Mr Vladimir Ivashin.
Equally warm words go to the listeners of the Sputnik, true enthusiasts in every hook and corner of India, who have remained friends through thick and thin. The stream of broadcasts beamed from Russia to India appears to have caught its second wind with its social networks activities, FM coverage, in a better quality, and with the Internet programmes available round-the-clock. With the transformation of the Voice of Russia broadcasting company into a new major media brand, Sputnik, represented in dozens of countries, new ways of bringing Russian news and culture to every Indian home are found. We highly value the contribution of both the Sputnik’s team and its Indian listeners to the rich and glorious tradition of broadcasting in various Indian languages from Moscow for more than 70 years now.
With gratitude and due respect may I express hope that as long as such skilled professionals and passionate listeners exist, the fruitful, special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India will grow from strength to strength.
All-embracing approach of the Sputnik towards promoting Russian culture overseas attracts younger generations of Indians curious to learn firsthand about what is happening in the world. We are gratified to see that the geography of the Sputnik’s Indian conferences is expanding with today’s conference taking place in Trivandrum, in the Russian Centre.
Is not it also symbolic that the Conference is held on the eve of the official friendly visit of President Vladimir Putin to India? It will be the first Russian-Indian summit after the new Indian government came to power. The warmth and special chemistry between our leaders since they first met at the BRICS summit last July are expected to give an impetus to stronger cooperation in traditional and new areas. I can say that on bilateral level, our cooperation is becoming closer, friendlier and more fruitful than ever before.
Russia wants to see India a prosperous and powerful nation. To achieve this, for decades, we have done our best, are doing it now, and we will confidently march together towards brighter future. Let me heartily congratulate the participants and wish a great success to the 9th All India Listeners’ Conference of the Radio of Friendship – the Sputnik.
I wish you all every success in all your endeavours.