India seeks all round expansion of ties with Russia : Manmohan

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Moscow, Nov 12 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said India seeks an all round expansion of ties with Russia covering diverse fields such as economy, energy security, defence and counter-terrorism.

''We have achieved much together, but we can and will do even better,'' the Prime Minister said.

Addressing a banquet hosted in his honour by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dr Singh noted that the strategic partnership with Russia was ''critical'' to India's objectives of achieving a ''socially inclusive'' growth and playing its role as a ''factor of peace and stability'' on the world stage.

He appreciated Mr Putin's personal contribution to the cementing of Indo-Russia relations.

Noting that India and Russia were friends of ''long standing'', the Prime Minister said, ''Our relationship transcends generations, and is the proud legacy of our founding fathers.

Despite major transformations in the world, our relations remain firmly rooted in a mutual bond of friendship, understanding and trust.'' Winding up his two-day visit, Dr Singh said, ''This is my fourth visit to Russia. With every visit I have felt the bonds of friendship between us grow stronger. My admiration and respect for the people of Russia have grown.'' Dr Singh said the efforts by the governments of the two countries should be supplemented by bilateral cultural and intellectual exchanges.

''Our younger generation, in particular, must be able to understand the richness of our respective cultures and civilisations,'' he said.

Referring to the Year of Russia to be celebrated in India next year, Dr Singh said ''Russia will find a new home in India next year.'' He said India will continue to work with Russia to realise the true potential of bilateral trade and economic relations.

UNI

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