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Amid standoff with China, Modi dials Putin to congratulate him on winning constitutional vote

At a time when time-tested friend Russia is emerging as a key player in the India-China equation and has also been a major defence supplier to India for decades, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin and “conveyed his keenness to welcome President Putin in India” for the annual bilateral summit this year.

The external affairs ministry said Putin “reiterated his commitment to further strengthen the special and privileged strategic partnership in all spheres”, but MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava did not give a direct answer when asked if the Sino-Indian border situation had been discussed.

The MEA said the two leaders “agreed to maintain the momentum of bilateral contacts and consultations”, and that Putin thanked the PM for the phone call and reiterated his commitment to further strengthen ties.

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