Asserting that Russia remains a key priority for India's foreign policy, President Pranab Mukherjee has said the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two nations is a unique and multi-dimensional relationship characterized by stability and warmth.
Welcoming a parliamentary delegation from the Russian Federation led by Valentina I. Matvienko, Chairperson of the Council of Russian Federation, who called on him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here yesterday, President Mukherjee said Russia is a key partner and friend of India for many decades.
"The India- Russia special and privileged strategic partnership is a unique and multi-dimensional relationship characterized by stability and warmth. Russia remains a key priority for India's foreign policy," President Mukherjee said.
"From Soviet assistance in India's early industrialization and defence consolidation, to a strong symbiotic relationship in joint design and development in strategic sectors, the India- Russia Strategic Partnership reflects our remarkable convergence of interests in bilateral spheres as well as on the global stage," he added.
President Mukherjee said India - Russia bilateral relations are progressing well in diverse areas such as energy, defence, space, trade and economics, science and technology, culture and people to people ties.
"The level of bilateral trade and investment between India and Russia remains below its potential. Both countries need to make sincere and concerted efforts and to take specific measures including thrust areas to achieve the target bilateral trade figure of US$ 20 billion by 2015," he added.
President Mukherjee further said parliamentary exchanges are an important element of bilateral relations.
"India would like to see greater parliamentary exchanges between our Parliaments at all levels. Frequent exchanges between the Federal legislatures of both the countries can add another dimension to our vibrant and dynamic relationship," he added.
Leader of the Russian Parliamentary delegation said India is a reliable and true friend of Russia.
"India-Russia relations have been tested by time. They are an important factor in global politics. Russia is happy over the growth in status and influence of India because our views and interests converge and we will together be able to better influence global events," said Valentina I. Matvienko.
She said inter-parliamentary relations have been lagging behind progress in other sectors and there is need for Parliamentarians of both countries to also made substantive contributions to the strengthening of relations. (ANI)