MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Festival of Indian Culture in Russia represents cultural exchange and contributes to stable strategic relations between Russia and India, President of India Pranab Mukherjee said on Sunday at the opening ceremony of the festival.
Nine Russian cities will hold the Namaste Russia festival that will last from May until November 2015.
"Friendship and cultural exchanges are important parts of the strategic partnership between two countries," Mukherjee said.
The president expressed confidence that the festival Namaste Russia would reinforce the links between Russian and Indian cultures.
The festival was opened by Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky along with the Indian president.
The festival devoted to cultural exchange between the two countries is a tradition that was started in 1999. Since then, the festival has been held annually in different cities of Russia and India.
On Saturday, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee took part in the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow, marking the 70th anniversary of Nazi Germany's capitulation.
President Mukherjee praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin's "great" contribution to the development of bilateral relations between India and Russia.