Published: January 14, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the former’s initiative, said Kremlin, the official residence of the President of Russia, in a statement. The two leaders exchanged New Year greetings and discussed the bilateral agenda while noting their intent to further develop the ‘Russian-Indian privileged strategic partnership’.
“The two leaders expressed happiness at the significant landmarks the Special Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries had covered in the recent past, particularly in the year 2019,” said the Ministry of External Affairs.
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PM Modi stressed that the year 2020 would be of special significance for Russia, and recalled with gratitude the invitation of President Putin to the Prime Minister to participate in the 75th Victory Day Celebration in Moscow in May this year. The Prime Minister stated that he is looking forward to meeting the Russian President during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the BRICS Summit in St Petersburg.
Discussion over Persian Gulf region and Libya
“Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi also discussed some current international matters, including the developments in the Persian Gulf region and in Libya,” read the statement. The discussion on the heightened tension in the Middle East following the death of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani is extremely significant as India has walked the diplomatic tightrope while Russia has openly supported Iran in the whole saga.
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Russia, a strategic ally of Iran, had warned of “all-out” war in the region leading to possible nuclear war after Iran targeted two US military bases in Iraq. Russian lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov had opined that consecutive retaliatory measures by US and Iran may lead to an all-out war in the region. “If Washington sees that it can't achieve its goals, there's a danger of a nuclear war," warned the legislator.
Kremlin had also expressed condolence to Iranian people over the death of Soleimani and said that the military leader served the cause of protecting Iran's national interests with devotion. In a statement, Putin’s government said that the killing of Soleimani was an adventurist step that will increase tensions throughout the region.
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