Ahead of his visit, Putin praises India as one of the hubs of a multipolar world

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New Delhi, Nov 30: With December 6 inching closer, India and Russia are warming up to the first face-to-face meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Russian President Vladimir Putin in more than two years.

Putin will be in New Delhi this weekend to attend the 21st India-Russia Annual Summit as the two leaders meet for the first time since the BRICS Summit in Brasilia in November 2019.

In an expanded meeting of the Russian Foreign Ministry Board on November 18, which was devoted to the implementation of national foreign policy and future tasks of Russian diplomacy, Putin stressed the significance of Russia-India Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership in the fast-changing global scenario.

He remarked that, just like with China, Russia adheres to similar approaches in relations with its “especially privileged” strategic partner – India.

“We intend to build up truly multifaceted bilateral cooperation. We regard India as one of the strong independent centers of a multipolar world with a foreign policy philosophy and priorities that are close to us,” said Putin.

The Modi-Putin camaraderie has been on display before the Covid-19 pandemic and even during the six telephonic conversations and virtual meetings between the two leaders since that meeting in Brasilia.

While virtually addressing the Eastern Economic Forum-2021 (EEF) in September, PM Modi had called President Putin “a great friend of India” under whose guidance the strategic partnership between the two countries continues to grow from strength to strength.

The International North-South Corridor connectivity project, which PM Modi had said in 2019 will bring India and Russia physically closer to each other, also hit a major milestone recently.

Sailing through the icy Northern Sea Route, which could become a major shipping lane in future, a carrier delivered liquefied natural gas from Novateks’s Yamal plant to GAIL’s Dabhol terminal in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, last month.

India’s planned contribution to the development of resource-rich Russian Far East is only expected to rise further after Modi and Putin end their summit next week.

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