Vladivostok: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held delegation-level talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum and said that the 'historical occasion' would give a new dimension to the support between the two countries.
"Your invitation to me, for the Eastern Economic Forum is a matter of great respect. This is a historic occasion to give a new dimension to the support between the two countries. I am waiting to participate in the forum tomorrow," the Prime Minister said.
"Russia is an integral friend and trustworthy partner of India. You've personally focussed on expanding our special & privileged strategic partnership. As two integral friends, we have met regularly. I've spoken to you over the telephone on several issues, I've never felt any hesitation," Modi added on the occasion.
The Prime Minister, who arrived on a two-day visit here earlier today, further said that Moscow's decision to confer him with the highest civilian award of the country-- the Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-- is a matter of honour for him as well as the people of India.
Earlier in April, the Office of the Russian President, in a statement, had said, "The order was presented to the Prime Minister of India for his distinguished contribution to the development of a privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India and friendly ties between the Russian and Indian peoples."
"You've announced that I'll be awarded Russia's highest civilian award. I express my gratitude to you and the people of Russia. This demonstrates the friendly relations between the people of our two countries. It's a matter of honour for the 1.3 billion Indians," the Prime Minister added today.
Upon his arrival, Modi received a Guard of Honour at the Vladivostok International Airport. Followingly, he met the Russian President and paid a visit to the 'Zvezda' Shipbuilding Complex and spent "quality time" together onboard a ship as part of a special gesture to further cement cooperation with "a valued friend", according to the Prime Minister's Office.
"Deeply touched by President Putin's gracious gesture to accompany me to Zvezda shipyard, which is poised to make a huge contribution to the development of Arctic shipping," Modi tweeted.
"During our visit, President Putin showed me cutting edge technologies at the shipyard. My visit opens up new pathways of cooperation in this important field," he added.
Later in the day, India and Russia are expected to sign numerous agreements in the fields of defence, trade, investments, industrial cooperation, energy and connectivity corridors at the 20th Annual Summit between the two countries.
In his departure statement ahead of his visit to Russia, Modi had said that strong bilateral partnership is complemented by a desire to promote a multi-polar world and the two countries cooperate extensively in the strategic fields of defence, civil nuclear energy and peaceful uses of space.