• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

EUROPE

Putin praises Modi at ‘private’ meeting: ‘You have devoted your entire life…’

As the two heads of state held an informal meeting over a cup of tea at Putin’s official residence outside Moscow, Modi recollected the recent elections in India.

Russian president Vladimir Putin interacts with Indian PM Narendra Modi (R) at his official residence at Novo-Ogaryovo for a private engagement, in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, July 8, 2024. (PTI Photo) (SCREENSHOT VIA PTI VIDEOS)

By: Shubham Ghosh

RUSSIAN president Vladimir Putin on Monday (8) night welcomed prime minister Narendra Modi at his official residence at Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow for a “private engagement” during which he praised the visiting Indian leader for the work he has done for his country’s progress.

“I would like to congratulate you on your reelection as prime minister. I think this is not an accident, but the result of your work over many years,” Putin told Modi as they held an informal meeting in a residence outside Moscow.

“You have your own ideas. You are a very energetic person, able to achieve results in the interests of India and the Indian people,” Putin said.

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“The result is obvious.

“India firmly ranks as the world’s third-largest economy,” Putin was quoted as saying by the state-run TASS news agency.

Both leaders renewed their electoral mandate this year. In March, the Russian president swept elections in his country while Modi returned to power for the third consecutive time, albeit with a reduced majority.

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Putin said the Indian prime minister has devoted his entire life to serving his people and they can feel it. As the two heads of state held an informal meeting over a cup of tea at Putin’s official residence outside Moscow, Modi recollected the recent elections in his country, saying that “the people of India gave him a chance to serve the Motherland.”

“You have devoted your entire life to serving the Indian people, and they can feel it,” Putin replied.

“You are right, I have only one goal: It is the people and my country,” the prime minister said with a smile, the TASS report said.

Later, Putin and Modi took a stroll around Putin’s residence in Novo-Ogaryovo.

“The Russian leader showed his Indian guest around the residence and gave him a drive in an electric car. Most of the time they spoke via interpreters. However, when they left the car and were walking to the garden they had a brief tete-a-tete conversation, probably in English,” according to a separate TASS report.

In a post on X later, Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Russia, expressed his gratitude to utin for hosting him at Novo-Ogaryovo.

“Looking forward to our talks tomorrow as well, which will surely go a long way in further cementing the bonds of friendship between India and Russia,” he said.

Earlier, India’s ministry of external affairs described the private event as a “meeting of two close friends and trusted partners.”

“PM @narendramodi welcomed by President Vladimir Putin of Russia at his official residence at Novo-Ogaryovo for a private engagement,” it said, sharing some photographs of the meeting.

It is an occasion for the two leaders to cherish & celebrate India-Russia friendship, it added.

In his first trip since the start of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Modi on Monday travelled to Russia to hold summit talks with Putin on Tuesday (9)– a visit that is being seen as having a wider geopolitical context and signalling.

Shortly after landing in Moscow, Modi said he is looking forward to deepening bilateral partnership in futuristic areas and that stronger ties between India and Russia will “greatly benefit our people”.

India seeks to play a “supportive role” for a peaceful and stable region, the prime minister said in his departure statement. Modi was received at the Vnukovo-II airport by Russia’s first deputy prime minister Denis Manturov.

(With PTI inputs)

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