Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and discussed wide-ranging Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries and ways to further strengthen it.
Indian Embassy in Moscow said in a tweet that the Foreign Secretary conveyed greetings of External Affairs S Jaishankar to the Russian leader.
"They discussed the wide-ranging Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia and ways to further strengthen it," the Embassy said.
Shringla later said the Russian Foreign Minister emphasised the importance he attaches to the special privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia.
"We also spoke about the annual summit and he (Lavrov) said President Putin was looking forward to his visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi and that the visit would take place sometime on a date to be decided," Shringla said.
"There are a number of other visits that we spoke about -- there is a visit of the Deputy Prime Minister for the Inter-Governmental Commission with our Minister for External Affairs. We are looking at the visits of our army and naval chiefs. There are a large number of exchanges that are on the cards for the India-Russia relationship," he said.
Shringla said they discussed some regional and international issues of interest including cooperation in the UN and UNSC where India is a non-permanent member now.
"We also spoke about issues like Afghstan which both countries have a direct interest in," he said.
The Foreign Secretary said they also discussed cooperation in area of vaccines, global responses to COVID-19 and on how India and Russia can work together in partnership to deal with this issue.
"There is a lot happening in the relationship. It is a very important relationship for both countries. I think we will see some developments reinforce the close and strategic partnership we both enjoy," he said.
Shringla extended Lavrov invitation on behalf of Jaishankar to visit India and the Russian Minister said he is looking forward to doing so at the earliest.
In his address at Diplomatic Academy later, Shringla said India and Russia marked the 20th anniversary of the signing Declaration on Strategic Partnership last year.
"This is a special relationship. Our longstanding and time-tested partnership has gone from strength to strength," he said.
( With inputs from ANI )
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