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PM Modi received by Russia's first Deputy PM, accorded Guard of Honour in Moscow

Moscow [Russia]: Upon arrival in Russia's Moscow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accorded Guard of Honour at VNUKOVO-II International Airport. Russia's First Deputy PM Denis Manturov received PM Modi at the airport.

Manturov and PM Modi shook hands and greeted each other. In a rare gesture, Manturov will also accompany PM Modi to the hotel from the airport in the same car. India's Ambassador to Russia, Vinay Kumar, was present at the airport to welcome PM Modi.

The Indian community has gathered outside the hotel, where PM Modi is scheduled to arrive. Indian diaspora are also playing dhol to welcome PM Modi at the hotel.

Russian devotees sing bhajans outside PM Modi's hotel in Moscow. They can be seen singing and dancing to 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna' bhajan. People dressed in Indian attire expressed enthusiasm to welcome PM Modi.

Russian artists in Moscow perform on Hindi songs to welcome PM Narendra Modi. PM Modi is on a two-day official visit to Russia at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit.

During his visit to Moscow, PM Modi will hold a meeting with Russian President Putin today. PM Modi will attend a community event in Moscow on Tuesday.

Notably, PM Modi and Putin have met 16 times over the past 10 years. The last in-person meeting between the two leaders took place on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Uzbekistan's Samarkand in 2022. In 2019, PM Modi was conferred the highest Russian state honour 'Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First'.

Ahead of PM Modi's visit, the Indian diaspora on Monday expressed enthusiasm to welcome PM Modi.
Savika, a member of the Indian diaspora said, "I am very excited. I have seen him (PM Modi) only on TV and this will be the first time I will see him in person and I am very happy that the Prime Minister is coming here."

Young members of the Indian diaspora in Moscow also raised slogans of 'Vande Mataram' and cheered for PM Narendra Modi ahead of his arrival to the country.

Another student Anshika Singh, who has been living there for 11 years, said, "I am very honoured and excited to meet the Prime Minister."

Sidhu, hailing from Tamil Nadu, has been living for 17 years, and said, "I am very excited to meet PM Modi and I am very grateful to the embassy of India for giving us the opportunity to meet PM Modi."

Abir Imtiaz, who has been living in Moscow for 11 years asserted that he is feeling very proud. "I am feeling very honoured that our PM is coming to Moscow and we have the chance to meet him."

Deepali Choudhary, hailing Bihar's Muzzafarpur said she has brought painting for PM Modi. "I wish him a warm welcome to Moscow and I hope he enjoys his time in Russia."

Speaking with ANI, Ananya Rai, hailing from UP, said she has been living in Russia for 10 years. She said, "I am really excited to meet PM Modi. This is the first opportunity that I have gotten from the Embassy as well as the school to meet the Prime Minister."

In his departure statement, PM Modi said, "Over the next three days, I will be in Russia and Austria. These visits will be a wonderful opportunity to deepen ties with these nations, with whom India has time-tested friendship. I also look forward to interacting with the Indian community living in these countries."

PM Modi said that he wishes to discuss aspects of bilateral cooperation with his friend President Putin.

"I look forward to reviewing all aspects of bilateral cooperation with my friend President Vladimir Putin and sharing perspectives on various regional and global issues. We seek to play a supportive role for a peaceful and stable region. The visit will also provide me with an opportunity to meet the vibrant Indian community in Russia," the PM said.

PM Modi added that the special and privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia has advanced over the past ten years, including in the areas of energy, security, trade, investment, health, education, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

Earlier on Sunday, India's Ambassador to India, Vinay Kumar said, "The program includes a private meeting with President Putin, delegation-level talks, restricted talks, luncheon hosted by President Putin for Prime Minister and his delegation, visit to an exhibition centre in the VDNKH Complex, Rosatom Pavilion, and also exchange of documents which we are preparing to sign and exchange during the visit."

"Prime Minister will also address a gathering of Indian community members who are very eagerly looking forward to this visit to Moscow by Prime Minister after a gap of nine years. The last Prime Ministerial visit to Moscow was in 2015. So these are some of the important elements of the program," he added.

Notably, India and Russia have a longstanding and time-tested relationship with more than 77 years of mutually beneficial diplomatic ties. The relations between the two nations were elevated to the level of "Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership" in 2010.

After concluding his visit to Russia, PM Modi will depart for Austria in what is the first visit to the nation by an Indian Prime Minister in 40 years.

In his departure statement, PM Modi stated, "In Austria, I will have the opportunity to meet President Alexander Van der Bellen and Chancellor Karl Nehammer. Austria is our steadfast and reliable partner and we share the ideals of democracy and pluralism."

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