Modi, Putin Spend “Quality time together” on ship in Russia

Vladivostok (Russia): Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveled on a ship along with Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Zvezda shipbuilding complex, the first stop in his two-day visit to the Russian Far East region.

“Strong winds propelling the India-Russia relationship! PM @narendramodi and Russian President Putin spending quality time together on board a ship on their way to ‘Zvezda’ Shipbuilding Complex,” MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

In a video released by the government, PM Modi, in a dark bandhgala, and President Putin were seen sitting together on the ship on the way to the shipyard.

They walked together to the boat and in a special gesture, President Putin decided to accompany PM Modi. The two leaders reportedly discussed cooperation between the two nations in ship-building.

After the boat ride, PM Modi tweeted he was “deeply moved” by Russian President’s gesture. “I am deeply moved by a generous gesture from President Putin to visit the Zvezda shipbuilding complex with me, which will make a huge contribution to the development of shipping in the Arctic,” PM Modi tweeted. 

“During our visit, President Putin showed me cutting edge technologies at the shipyard. My visit opens up new pathways of cooperation in this important field,” he wrote in another tweet.

At the shipyard, the Prime Minister interacted with the management and workers.

PM Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Russian Far East region, will hold summit talks with President Putin and attend the Eastern Economic Forum. This is his third bilateral visit to Russia.

“Your invitation to me, for Eastern Economic Forum is a matter of great respect. This is a historical occasion to give a new dimension to the support between the two countries. I am waiting to participate in the forum tomorrow,” PM Modi said

Ships built at the Zvezda shipyard “will be used to deliver Russian oil and liquefied natural gas to world markets, including India,” President Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted as saying by Tass news agency.

The Zvezda shipyard is being set up on the base of the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center by a consortium of Rosneft, Rosneftegaz and Gazprombank. The shipyard will produce heavy ships, offshore platform elements, ice-class vessels, special vessels, and other marine equipment, according to the Russian news agency.

Ahead of the visit, PM Modi said he looked forward to discussing regional and international issues of mutual interest with President Putin. “I look forward to discussing with my friend President Putin the entire gamut of our bilateral partnership as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest,” he said in his departure statement in New Delhi.

“I also look forward to meeting other global leaders attending the Eastern Economic Forum, and interacting with Indian Industry and business representatives participating in it,” the PM added.