Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma
19 june 2010
Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Mr Minister, colleagues, I cordially welcome you to Moscow.
I remember my last visit to New Delhi in March this year. It went very well thanks to the active position of the Indian leadership on deepening cooperation between India and Russia. Accordingly, I ask you to convey the warmest words of gratitude to Indian Congress Party Leader Sonia Gandhi and send my best wishes to the prime minister and president.
Mr Minister, despite the global financial and economic crisis, we were able to retain positive trends in the economy with our Indian partners. Despite the crisis, trade between our countries grew 7.5% last year, and in the first four months of this year, it grew another 26%. We have many concrete large-scale projects, and they are all progressing well. I'm very glad to have the opportunity to meet with you and discuss our joint work.
Anand Sharma (as translated): Thank, your Excellency, Mr Prime Minister. I'm very grateful that you found the opportunity to meet me. We in India know you very well as a true friend of India, and have the deepest respect for you. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you that I have the honour of conveying the warmest and best wishes from our prime minister, and from Indian National Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi, who was informed about my visit, meeting and short conversation with your Excellency in Istanbul. She remembers your last visit to India very well and fondly.
Mr Prime Minister. Your considerable contribution to the forging of friendly relations between our countries has great significance. Russia is a longstanding friend of India.
We remember very well the contribution that your country made to developing our strategic partnership, as well as the assistance your country afforded us during what were the most trying times for our country; particularly the resolute support your country gave our country when we needed it.
Today, our relations have grown. They are in an entirely different context and are distinctly different in content. They have, in general, no parallel among relations that we have with any other country.
I fully share your view that despite these hard times associated with the economic crisis we have nevertheless managed to maintain very healthy bilateral trade between our countries. We are confident that we will attain the goal of $10 billion that our leaders have set. Last year, our trade reached $7.4 billion.