The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee attended a reception hosted by Shri P.S. Raghavan, Ambassador of India to Russia for the Indian community today in Moscow.
Addressing the gathering, the President said the Indian community in Russia has contributed significantly to the development of close ties of friendship between India and Russia. Interaction between the two countries at the people-to-people level have always been warm and friendly. This has been exemplified by Russian interest in Indian cinema, culture and heritage and the popularity in India of Russian literature, arts, circus and sciences.
The President said the last fifteen years have seen a qualitative change in India’s relations with Russia. With the signing of a declaration on India-Russia strategic partnership in October 2000, India established perhaps its closest institutionalized ties with any foreign country. This association has since continued to grow and diversify into newer areas. In recognition of the multi-faceted bilateral engagement of the two countries, India today terms its relationship a special and privileged strategic partnership.
The President said total trade between India and Russia is US Dollar 6 billion annually, which is less than 1 per cent of India’s total trade amounting to US Dollar 765 billion. Since April 2000, FDI inflows into India is US Dollar 246 billion, out of which only US Dollar 1 billion has come from Russia. Given the size of the economies of both the countries, there is huge potential to enhance commercial and investment exchanges.
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