Home / News / India /  India-Russia friendship has stood the test of time: PM Modi at Eastern Economic Forum

Eastern Economic Forum 2021: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the friendship between India and Russia has stood the test of time and it was seen during Covid pandemic. He also said that Covid had highlighted the importance of health and pharma sectors in both the countries' bilateral cooperation. 

“Friendship between India and Russia has stood the test of time. Most recently, it was seen in our robust cooperation during COVID19 pandemic, including in the area of vaccines. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of health and pharma sectors in our bilateral cooperation," PM Modi said while addressing the plenary session of Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).  

India-Russia energy partnership can help bring stability to the global energy market. My Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Puri is in Vladivostok to represent India at this forum,  PM Modi added. 

Applauding President Putin’s vision for the development of the Russian Far East, PM Modi reiterated India’s commitment as part of its "Act East Policy’ of being a reliable partner of Russia in this regard. He underlined the natural complementarities of India and Russia in the development of Russian Far East.

PM Modi stressed on the importance of greater economic and commercial engagement between the two sides in line with the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’. He highlighted the importance of health and pharma sectors as important areas of cooperation that have emerged during the pandemic. He also referred to other potential areas of economic cooperation including diamond, coking coal, steel, timber etc.

Recalling the visit of Chief Ministers of Indian states to EEF-2019, PM Modi extended an invitation to Governors of the 11 regions of Russian Far East to visit India.

India has approved Russia's Covid vaccine — Sputnik V — for vaccination in the country. Initially, India received few batches of vaccines from Russia and now some countries are producing the vaccine locally.  

Last month, Indian pharma company Panacea Biotec Ltd said it had agreed to produce up to 25 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine using the drug substance made by Russia's Generium.

Panacea will then supply the doses to drugmaker Dr Reddy's Laboratories for distribution in the country. 

Earlier, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) had informed that the production of Sputnik V Covid vaccine in India was expected to come fully on stream in September.

"Production in India is expected to come fully onstream in September and RDIF expects India to become a major production hub for the Sputnik V vaccine with such companies as Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest vaccine producer, Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma, Virchow Biotech and Morepen Laboratories working to produce the vaccine," a statement issued by RDIF read.

Last month, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami launched Sputnik V in the state. On the first day, 100 people were vaccinated with the Russia-manufactured vaccine.


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