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India believes the forthcoming visit to Russia by Abdul Kalam is a good opportunity to further consolidate traditionally friendly
India believes the forthcoming visit to Russia by President Abdul Kalam is a good opportunity to further consolidate traditionally friendly, time-tested relations with Russia, Rajiv Sikri, Secretary (East) in the Indian External Affairs Ministry told journalists. He said the president would start a tour of foreign countries, including Russia, on May 22. He also planned to visit Switzerland, Iceland and Ukraine. "Our relations with Russia are very versatile and touch upon many important aspects - science, technology, defense, space research, nuclear energy, and now even more the energy sector. Another important sphere of cooperation might be information technology. So we hope the president's visit would contribute to the cause of further consolidation and expansion of ties in all fields," stressed the diplomat. "The visit would also make it possible for the president to establish personal relations with the Russian leadership," he said. Sikri said it would be the first visit by an Indian leader to Russia after the collapse of the USSR. The last Indian leader to visit the Soviet Union in 1988 was Ramaswami Venkataraman.
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