Putin: Vajpayee's current visit - important stage in bilateral relations

Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's "current visit to Moscow is an important stage in the development of bilateral relations which have always been equal," Russian President Vladimir Putin said after the talks with the Indian Premier.

Russian-Indian relations are developing in a friendly and open atmosphere, Putin noted.

A declaration was signed to sum up the talks, the President added. "It outlines the main trends in international cooperation in the 21st century," Vladimir Putin said.

"Russia and India have common approaches to the majority of international problems," the Russian leader stated.

"Russia welcomes India's new initiatives to restore relations with Pakistan," he said.

In addition, he thanked India for supporting Russia's initiative on the formation of a global system to counter threats and challenges of the 21st century.

According to Vladimir Putin, the talks also focused on the implementation of several major projects, scientific-technical and military-technical cooperation and relevant tasks facing our countries.

Russia and India come out for increasing mutual trade turnover and the role of the private sector, the Russian President stressed.

The next year will see the Days of Indian Culture in the Russian Federation, Putin said. "I am convinced they will be a success," he added.

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