INTERNATIONAL

Ties with India at new heights: Medvedev

Indo-Russian relations have scaled new heights as ‘Privileged Strategic Partnership' and are instrumental in maintaining global and regional stability, said Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev.

“Today our countries have reached a new level of partnership that can be described as ‘Privileged Strategic Partnership',” he said, accepting credentials from Ambassador Ajai Malhotra and 10 other foreign envoys in the Kremlin on Wednesday.

The Russian leader stressed that strategic ties with India are not only “based on trustful political dialogue, but is also marked by large-scale trade, economic, military-technical ties and promising cultural projects.” He called for further cementing bilateral relations. “I am convinced that strengthening of Russia-India relations accords with the national interests of both countries and contributes substantially to global stability and security in South Asia.”

Mr. Medvedev felt the coming official visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later this year would become “another important milestone in expanding our cooperation”. At a one-to-one with Mr. Medvedev over a champagne toast to celebrate the occasion, Ambassador Malhotra conveyed “the greetings and warm good wishes of the Honourable President, Honourable Prime Minister and the 1.2 billion people of friendly India.”

The Indian envoy was very warmly received by the Russian President, who reiterated to Mr. Malhotra his great sorrow and indignation over Wednesday's terrorist attacks in Mumbai and asked him to convey his deepest condolences to the victims' families. Mr. Medvedev expressed his “deep-felt condolences,” as well as “grief and indignation” in a telegram to the Indian Prime Minister.

“Inhuman crimes directed against the foundations of civilised society arouse anger and condemnation. They can have no justification and their organisers must bear the harshest punishment. The evil act perpetrated in India reconfirms the need for concerted joint efforts in combatting terrorism.” .

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