Moscow, Oct 1: India and Russia have built a sound relationship befitting the challenges of the modern age, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday.
Speaking after receiving an honorary doctorate from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations here, Dr. Singh said India has benefited enormously from Russian support in every aspect of national development effort, be it in the development of heavy industry, the development of the power sector, its space programme, or in meeting defence needs.
“Russia has stood by India at moments of great international challenge, when our own resources were limited and our friends were few. And it is for these reasons that the people of India regard Russian friendship and support as something particularly precious,” he said.
“It is for these same reasons, over the past six decades, no country has had closer relations with India and no country inspires more admiration, trust and confidence among the people of India than Russia,” he added.
He also said that the two countries went through a difficult period of political and economic change, but added that neither Russia nor India allowed these changes to derail the course of their relationship.
“Indeed, by the dawn of the new century, India and Russia had not only restored the direction and regained the momentum of their relationship, but had also given it a new character. This was in recognition of the enduring values of this relationship, which enjoys complete political consensus and enormous public goodwill and support in India,” he added.
Emphasizing on the strong ties between the two countries, Dr. Singh said that Russia was the first country with which India signed a Declaration of Strategic Partnership in 2000 and began the process of annual summits. (ANI)