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Russian President Vladimir Putin calls on PM Narendra Modi; extends full support in combating COVID crisis

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PM Modi and President Putin also welcomed the registration of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in India and noted its high efficiency and safety. (File Photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has telephoned PM Narendra Modi amid the raging coronavirus crisis. The Russian President extended his support to PM Modi during this difficult period for combatting the spread of the coronavirus. Putin also informed PM Modi of the decision to send emergency humanitarian aid to India. The flights of the Russian Emergencies Ministry has delivered over 22 tonnes of necessary equipment, such as 20 oxygen production units, 75 lung ventilators, 150 medical monitors and 200,000 packs of medicine to India today.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked President Putin for the assistance and support.

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The leaders also welcomed the registration of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in India and noted its high efficiency and safety. They also noted that the Russian Direct Investment Fund had reached an agreement with the Indian companies to produce 850 doses of Sputnik V. The production will begin in May.

The two leaders recalled the important decisions taken during their last Summit meeting in Vladivostok in September 2019. Prime Minister Modi conveyed that he looks forward to President Putin’s visit to India later this year for the Bilateral Summit which would provide an occasion to continue their personal and trusted conversation. President Putin assured the Prime Minister of Russia’s full support for the success of India’s Presidency of BRICS during 2021. The two leaders agreed to remain in close touch on bilateral and international issues.

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Reacting to the development, Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay R. Kudashev informed that Russia is closely monitoring the situation in India. “We sincerely empathize with the Indian people due to our traditionally warm and friendly relations. The Russian Federation decided to send humanitarian assistance to India in the spirit of the special and privileged strategic partnership between our two countries, as well as in the context of our anti-COVID-19 cooperation. For this purpose, two urgent flights operated by the Russian EMERCOM arrived here today, which brought a cargo with a total weight of 20 tons. These are oxygen concentrators, lung ventilation equipment, bedside monitors, medicines, including Coronavirus, and other essential pharmaceutical items,” said Nikolay R. Kudashev.

He also said that a joint fight against the coronavirus threat is one of the most important areas of our cooperation at present. “It also includes the forthcoming deliveries of the Sputnik V vaccine starting from May 2021 and the subsequent facilitation of its production in India, cooperation in the field of medical science, including with regard to new coronavirus strains. We maintain an active, non-politicized dialogue in the framework of multilateral platforms – WHO, G20 and BRICS,” he said.

Notably, India had approved emergency supplies of hydroxychloroquine to Russia as a gesture of goodwill last year.

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