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Modi extends birthday wishes to Putin, extols Russia-India strategic partnership  

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on phone and conveyed warm greetings and best wishes on his birthday.

According to a statement, the Prime Minister recalled his long association and friendship with Putin and expressed appreciation for the personal role the Russian leader has played in nurturing the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries.

Both leaders agreed to remain in touch over the coming days, including on the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Indian prime minister expressed his keenness to welcome President Putin to his country as soon as possible after the normalisation of the public health situation.

The ongoing military contracts between the two sides is considered as one of “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership”.

In October 2018, India had signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, notwithstanding warning from the Trump administration that going ahead with the contract could invite United States sanctions.

In 2019, India made the first tranche of payment of around $800 million to Russia for the missile systems.

Moscow was to begin the delivery of the system by the second half of next year.

Russia has been one of India’s key suppliers of arms and ammunition.

However, there has been a long-standing grievance over delay in the supply of critical spares and equipment from Russia as it affects maintenance of military systems procured from that country.

(
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim)
Source: NAN

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