New Delhi, Dec 23: Russia and India are linked together with an unwavering friendship and strategic partnership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an interview with TASS news agency ahead of his two-day visit to Moscow starting Wednesday.
"Russia is India's unwavering friend," Modi said.
"Russian citizens too maintained unwavering relations with India. And politically apart, the Russian citizens have shown considerable interest in the Indian traditions and India's culture. And it makes our relationship stronger."
Modi said that when he goes to Russia, "there is a thought in my mind that I have delayed the visit a bit".
"But I am filled with enthusiasm that I'm going to a friend's house. And visit a friend, the feeling of oneness, the emotions, I am feeling it."
According to the prime minister, relations between India and Russia are linked together through the water, land and sky.
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"Our defence source, defence power, in all these Russia is associated with us for all those years. Similarly, in the global environment, in times of crisis, where you need a friend, Russia has always stood with us," he said.
"We never had to wait to know what Russia will do with us in this regard. We remain confident that we are doing this, Russia will do it with us," he said adding that an atmosphere of trust continued between the two countries.
"And in this sense, our relationship, in one way is a new level of strategic partnership, which is taking us in that direction."
The premier said he was "pleased to see where our relationship is today."
"Russia was the first country with which we concluded a formal agreement on strategic partnership, which has since been elevated to the level of 'special and privileged' strategic partnership in recognition of our multifaceted bilateral engagement," Modi said.
He said he saw positive signs of further growth owing to complementarities of both the countries.
"The strengths of Russia in science and technology, military technology and nuclear energy to name a few, complement the large market of India, expanding economy and demand of its young population. This provides us with the confidence that we can take forward our existing dynamic partnership," the prime minister said.