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In photos: The incredible journey of India-Russia bilateral relations from 1947 to 2021

The Modi-Putin personal chemistry has kept India-Russia relations insulated from headwinds

On his very first visit to India 21 years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin had said that the relations between India and Russia are free from any political fluctuations, durable, stable and not subject to time.

"Ever since five centuries ago in Russia they first learned about the existence of a distant and mysterious country, our peoples have experienced an inexhaustible mutual interest. Our wonderful poets: Zhukovsky, Fet, Bryusov turned to India in their spiritual quest," Putin had said in his address to the members of Indian Parliament in October 2000.

Relations with India, Putin had asserted, have been and remain the most important area of Russia's foreign policy and have a completely independent, lasting importance for Moscow, no matter how the country's relations with other states develop.

As the Russian President visits New Delhi again on Monday to attend the 21st India-Russia Annual Summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, IndiaNarrative.com takes a look back at the incredible journey of India-Russia bilateral relations through some timeless photos of important foreign dignitary visits from Moscow to New Delhi since independence.

Also Read: 10 bilateral agreements, show of camaraderie to take centrestage during Putin's flying visit to Delhi

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on April 13, 1947.

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Arrival of Mr Kirill Novikov, First Ambassador of the USSR to the Republic of India, with his wife and son to the New Delhi airport. December 21, 1947



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Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of India, with Soviet Ambassador, Kirill Novikov, at the reception held in New Delhi to celebrate the 34th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution on November 7, 1951



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Nikolai Bulganin, Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, being driven in a car through the streets of Srinagar in a procession during the visit to Kashmir in December 1955



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Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru feeding the record milk-producing cow received as a gift from the Soviet government. Soviet Ambassador Ivan Benedictov is also seen beside the PM in this photo dated March 27, 1960



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Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman who flew into space, talking to Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru in New Delhi in 1963. Ambassador of the USSR to India, Ivan Benediktov is also seen in the picture by Russian state-owned domestic news agency RIA Novosti 



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Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa with K.C. Pant planting a sapling at Raj Ghat in New Delhi, November 1986



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Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi, receiving Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, on his arrival for an official visit to New Delhi in November 1988



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Russian President Boris Yeltsin with President of India Shankar Dayal Sharma at a reception in Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1993



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Russian President Vladimir Putin with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi in October 2000. Since the signing of 'Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership' during President Putin's first visit to India, the India-Russia ties have acquired a qualitatively new character with enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship



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Vladimir Putin and Lyudmila Putin visiting the Taj Mahal during the Russian President's first visit to India in October 2000



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Vladimir Putin with Indian President Abdul Kalam in New Delhi during his visit in January 2007 when he also participated as Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations



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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during the official welcoming ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on December 5, 2008



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During the visit of the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to India in December 2010, the Strategic Partnership was elevated to the level of a 'Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership'



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President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the annual Russian-India Summit in New Delhi on December 11, 2014. India's Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom signed the Strategic Vision for strengthening cooperation in peaceful uses of atomic energy leading to Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) which is being built in India with Russian cooperation



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In October 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in India to attend the 19th India-Russia bilateral annual summit.



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India and Russia sealed the USD 5 billion S-400 air defence system deal during Putin's last visit to New Delhi



Also Read: Ahead of his visit, Putin praises India as one of the hubs of a multipolar world



Also Read: Putin likely to flag key military partnerships under ‘Atmanirbhar’ logo during pathbreaking visit to India



Also Read: Kudankulam to Gaganyaan, India-Russia partnerships continue to take flight