MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin talked by telephone on Tuesday with former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the development of relations between the two countries, the Kremlin said.
“Putin hailed Singh’s major personal contribution to the strengthening of Russian-Indian friendly relations and thanked [the former prime minister] for long-standing fruitful cooperation. The two sides expressed mutual conviction of further progressive development of the privileged strategic partnership between the two countries,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
India recently held a general election from April 7 to May 12. Following a ten-year run in power, the United Progressive Alliance lost power to the National Democratic Alliance led by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party which had previously led the country from 1998 to 2004.
On May 17, the 81-year-old Singh, who had headed the cabinet since 2004, announced his resignation, which was later accepted by President Pranab Mukherjee.
India and Russia are enjoying close relations described previously by Putin and Singh as a “special and privileged strategic partnership.”
The two countries see convergence on many regional and international issues and share challenges in their strategic partnership and defense cooperation. Russia is a major supplier of arms to India.
In his message of congratulations to incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, President Putin expressed confidence that the two countries could work together to build on the bilateral relations based on the Strategic Partnership Declaration signed in October 2000, when BPJ was the ruling party.