PM congratulates Medvedev, Putin

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New Delhi, May 9 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Mr Dmitri Medvedev and conveyed his felicitations and best wishes on his inauguration as the new President of Russia, sources said here today.

Dr Singh also congratulated Mr Vladimir Putin, who was formally declared the Prime Minister of Russia.

During their telephonic conversation last evening, Dr Singh and Mr Medvedev expressed great satisfaction at the current state of bilateral relations and reaffirmed their commitment to the strengthening of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The Prime Mnister had earier sent a congratulatory message to Mr Medvedev.

In a separate message to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Dr Singh congratulated him and conveyed his admiration for the progress that Russia made under the his Presidency.

He described Mr Putin as a great friend of India who laid the foundation of the India-Russia Strategic Partnership.

Mr Dmitri Medvedev, the chosen successor of Mr Vladimir Putin, was 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.

Earlier, before handing over power to Mr Medvedev, Mr Putin urged Mr 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, had a landslide victory in the March two Presidential elections and the inauguration capped his sharp ascendance from obscurity.

UNI RB MSJ KN1500

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