Modi very optimistic of Russia visit

New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he is very optimistic about his two-day visit to Russia starting Wednesday during which he will attend the 16th India-Russia annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin

“Today I will commence my visit to Russia, my first bilateral visit after we formed the Government. I am very optimistic about the outcome of this visit,” Modi said in a pre-departure statement.

“History is witness to the close ties India and Russia have had over the decades. Russia remains one of India’s most valued friends in the world,” he stated.

He recalled the time when as Gujarat chief minister in 2001 he accompanied then prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Russia.

“This was, perhaps, one of the first India-Russia annual Summits, a practice that goes on till date,” Modi stated.

“My visit will deepen the cooperation between India and Russia in the economic, energy and security spheres. We also want to increase cooperation in science and technology, mining among other sectors. Trade ties between India and Russia can increase even further, to benefit not only our two nations but also the world.”

He also stated that there would be extensive deliberations with President Putin.

“There will be an interaction with Russian businesspersons to invite them to invest in India. I will also attend a ‘Friends of India’ programme. I am certain that this visit will substantially take forward the already strong people to people ties between our nations,” the prime minister said.

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