New Delhi: When Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, they agreed to further strengthen the strategic partnership between India and Russia.
The talks between the two leaders assume great significance as it comes in the midst of India-China border tensions. The Indian Army and the Chinese military are locked in a bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh.
Tensions between New Delhi and Beijing have been simmering ever since 20 Indian Army soldiers were killed in a violent clash with China’s People’s Liberation Army in Galwan Valley on June 15.
Notably, the Modi and Putin held talks on a day when India’s Defence Acquisition Council approved procurement of 12 Su-30MKIs and 21 MiG-29s from Moscow.
PM Modi recalled the participation of an Indian contingent in the military parade held in Moscow on 24 June 2020 as a symbol of abiding friendship between the peoples of India and Russia.
President Putin thanked PM Modi for the phone call and “reiterated his commitment to further strengthen the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries in all spheres”.
According to Indian Ministry of External Affairs, the two leaders have “agreed to maintain the momentum of bilateral contacts and consultations, leading to the annual bilateral Summit to be held in India later this year”.
Meanwhile, heaping praises on India’s move to ban 59 Chinese apps, former US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley tweeted: “Good to see India banning 59 popular apps owned by Chinese firms, including TikTok, which counts India as one of its largest markets. India is continuing to show it won’t back down from China’s aggression.”
Her remarks came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed India’s move. “We welcome India’s ban on certain mobile apps that can serve as appendages of the CCP’s surveillance state. India’s ‘clean app’ approach will boost India’s sovereignty, will also boost India’s integrity and national security as the Indian government itself has stated,” he said while briefing reporters in Washington on Tuesday.