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Milestone in relations with Russia

CHENNAI, NOV. 25. One hundred years ago the Russian flag was hoisted above the Consulate-General in Mumbai (Bombay) marking a milestone in India-Russia relations.

The Russian President, Mr. Vladimir Putin, in a message to the Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, says: ``My heartiest felicitations to you on the occasion of celebrating the centenary of the establishment of the first Russian diplomatic mission on the Indian soil in Mumbai (Bombay). The event widely commemorated in our countries is an important landmark in the history of Russian-Indian relations rooted in the distant past. Remarkable pages in the chronicle of our friendly ties are connected with Mumbai. The ``Indian Odyssey'' of the famous Russian traveller, Afanasy Nikitin, started more than 500 years ago on the outskirts of this very city and the Consulate-General of Russia was set up there in 1900. ``I warmly recall my recent visit to India, in the course of which I visited Mumbai as well. I am happy that the agreements reached by us are already being implemented. I expect that your visit to Moscow next year in accordance with the Declaration on Strategic Partnership signed in New Delhi will be an important step on the path of further strengthening of all- round bilateral cooperation.''

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