PM to kickstart Year of Russia in India on Feb 12

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New Delhi, Feb 6 (UNI) After a hiatus of 20 years, India and Russia will jointly organise a cultural festival here to mark the inauguration of 'The Year of Russia in India'.

A major component of the festival is a cultural concert, which would be jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian Federation Chairman Victor A Zubkov at the Old Fort (Purana Qila) here on February 12.

The concert, being presented by The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Federal Agency of Culture and Cinematography of Russia, revisits the strategic and time-tested partnership between the two countries.

The festival brings to fruition a decision jointly taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Dr Singh during the former's visit to India in January last year.

A 300-member group from Russia carrying 40 tonnes of equipment on a chartered flight would substantially augment ''our ongoing efforts to deepen our collaboration in areas of shared interest like culture,'' ICCR Director General Pavan Kumar Varma said.

During Mr Putin's visit to India, the two countries had agreed to hold 'The Year of Russia in India' in 2008 and 'The Year of of India in Russia' in 2009.

It is in this context that the ICCR and Russia's Federal Agency of Culture and Cinematography are organising the concert to launch The Year of Russia in India.

The Russian contingent will showcase the best of their country's culture, providing glimpses of its ballet, theatre, dance, folk music and orchestra.

UNI/SKS SK RN1444

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