BY SHRI K.R. NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING
CREDENTIALS FROM MR. ALEXANDER M. KADAKIN, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE
OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 13,
It gives me great pleasure
to accept your Credentials as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the Russian Federation to India. I warmly welcome you to India and extend
my felicitations on your appointment to this position of high responsibility.
India's relations with
the Russian Federation have traditionally been close, warm and friendly.
Our ties are civilisational and have stood the test of time. These are characterised
by continuity, trust and mutual understanding. There is a national consensus
in both our countries on the further development and strengthening of our
multifaceted, bilateral cooperation. We regard Russia as a close partner
and look forward to the further strengthening of our ties for the mutual
benefit of our peoples and for the peace and stability of the world.
It is particularly satisfying
that our ties are being consolidated towards a strategic partnership and
that a Declaration on Strategic Partnership between India and the Russian
Federation is expected to be signed during the next Indo-Russian Summit.
This will give a new dimension and a renewed impetus to our bilateral relations
in the 21st century.
Excellency, we have seen
the giant strides taken by the Russian Federation towards democracy. Russia
has also ushered in an economic process based on market reforms. We rejoice
in Russia's successes and are interested in a strong, stable and prosperous
This year, India celebrates
the 50th anniversary of the creation of its Republic and the adoption of
its Constitution. The strength of Indian democracy was visible during the
13th general elections held last year. We have moved on to the second stage
of our economic reforms. We are according priority to the further development
and promotion of the infrastructure of our economy, of science and technology
and information technology. There are immense opportunities available to
us for further cooperation in these areas.
Both our countries are
making conscious efforts to explore each other's emerging economic capabilities
and to promote ways and means to raise the level of our bilateral trade
and economic cooperation. The Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission
for Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation
has become the prime vehicle for our many sided cooperation. We are satisfied
over the wide ranging cooperation in such diverse fields as trade and economic
relations, science and technology, atomic energy, outer space, defence culture
and other areas. I have no doubt that the considerable opportunities and
untapped potential existing on both sides in these areas will be jointly
exploited to mutual benefit.
India's foreign policy
has been based on continuity with a commitment to securing a peaceful, equitable
and pluralistic world order based on the principles of democracy and sovereign
equality of States. The views of our two countries converge over a wide
range of international issues. On entering the new millennium, we are confronted
with new challenges of international terrorism, narco-terrorism, arms trade,
religious extremism and separatism. These threaten international peace,
security and stability and the integrity of nations. The international community
needs to address these challenges through coordinated joint efforts. Both
our countries are committed to ensure that the new millennium will be safer
and more secure for mankind.
Excellency, we regard
you as a good friend of India and highly appreciate your valuable contribution
to the cause of Indo-Russian friendship. I am confident that your friendly
association with India in the past and your rich experience in Indo-Russian
interaction will greatly help in your efforts towards further enhancement
of our bilateral cooperation. I would like to assure you of the full cooperation
and support of the Government of India on all issues pertaining to our bilateral
ties. I wish you a very fruitful and rewarding stay in India and success
in your endeavours to further promote Indo-Russian friendship. I also take
this opportunity to convey through you my best wishes for the continued
good health and success of His Excellency Mr. Vladmir Putin, Acting President
of the Russian Federation and for the progress, prosperity and well being
of the friendly people of the Russian Federation.