As Prime Minister Narendra Modi emplaned for Russia on Tuesday, he said he looks forward to discussing regional and international issues of mutual interest with President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok where he will also attend the Eastern Economic Forum.
Modi also said his visit underlines the desire of the two countries to diversity and further strengthen bilateral relations. His visit to the Russian Far East Region is the first by an Indian prime minister. "I look forward to discussing with my friend President Putin the entire gamut of our bilateral partnership as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest," the prime minister said in his departure statement ahead of his two-day visit beginning Wednesday.
In Vladivostok, Modi will participate as the chief guest at the 5th Eastern Economic Forum at the invitation of President Putin. He will also hold the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit with Putin. "I also look forward to meeting other global leaders attending the Eastern Economic Forum, and interacting with Indian Industry and business representatives participating in it," Modi said.
The forum focuses on development of business and investment opportunities in the Russian Far East Region, and presents enormous potential for developing close and mutually beneficial cooperation between India and Russia in the region, he pointed out. "Our two countries enjoy excellent relations, based on the strong foundation of our special and privileged strategic partnership. Both countries cooperate extensively in the strategic fields of defence, civil nuclear energy and peaceful uses of space. We have robust and growing trade and investment relations.
"Our strong partnership is complemented by a desire to promote a multi-polar world and the two countries closely cooperate towards this end in regional and multilateral fora," Modi said. In a series of tweets, he said as part of efforts to boost cultural cooperation, a special stamp to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary would be released. "An innovative App to popularise Yoga would also be inaugurated. I hope more Russian sisters and brothers make Yoga an integral part of their routine," he said. During his visit, Modi would be visiting the Zvezda ship-building complex. "It would present a great opportunity to learn about Russia's exemplary capabilities in the ship-building sector as well as explore possibilities of cooperation in this area," he said.