PM felicitates Russia's new President

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New Delhi, May 7 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh felicitated Mr Dmitri Medvedev on his swearing in as Russia's new President today and said Russia occupies a special priority in India's foreign policy.

In a letter of felicitation to Mr Medvedev the Prime Minister said India draws immense satisfaction from its Strategic Partnership with Russia based on deep mutual trust, warm people-to-people bonds and longstanding multi-faceted cooperation.

''Relations with Russia occupy a special priority in India's foreign policy,'' the Prime Minister said while wishing Mr Medvedev every success in his high responsibilities.

In accordance with the successful practice of bilateral Summits between India and Russia, the Prime Minister also extended an invitation to President Medvedev to visit India.

Mr Dmitri Medvedev, the chosen successor of outgoing President Vladimir Putin, was today officially sworn in as Russia's third President since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Mr Medvedev took oath of office in an elaborate and lavish ceremony in the Kremlin's golden-hued St Andrew's Hall, bringing to an end Mr Putin's eight years as President.

After taking oath Mr Medvedev said he attached special importance to ''the fundamental role of law.'' Earlier, before handing over power to Mr Medvedev, Mr Putin made a brief speech, describing the transfer of power as ''a hugely important stage'' for Russia.

He also urged Medvedev to continue the policies he had been implementing for the last eight years, saying they proved to be ''the correct ones.'' Mr Medvedev, 42, won a landslide victory in the March two Presidential elections and the inauguration capped his sharp ascendance from obscurity.

UNI RB MSJ HT1925

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