PM Modi speaks to Russian president Vladimir Putin on several issues, including Sputnik-V vaccine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday spoke to Russian president Vladimir Putin and discussed the evolving situation of the pandemic and thanked Putin for extending its support in the India's fight against the second wave of Coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

PM Modi in a tweet also said that both leaders held a discussion on Sputnik-V vaccine and highlighted that the partnership between both countries in production of the vaccine will help the world in battling Covid-19.

"Had an excellent conversation with my friend President Putin today. We discussed the evolving COVID-19 situation, and I thanked President Putin for Russia's help and support in India's fight against the pandemic. @KremlinRussia_E," PM Modi said in a series of tweets.

PM Modi also said that both nations have decided to further their strategic partnership and have established 2+2 ministerial dialogue between India's foreign and defence ministers. "To add further momentum to our strong strategic partnership, President Putin and I have agreed to establish a 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between our Foreign and Defence Ministers," PM Modi said.

"We also reviewed our diverse bilateral cooperation, especially in the area of space exploration and renewable energy sector, including in hydrogen economy. Our cooperation on Sputnik-V vaccine will assist humanity in battling the pandemic," he further added.

India and Russia have decided to jointly manufacture Sputnik-V vaccines. Sputnik-V was added to India's arsenal of vaccines on April 12 when an expert panel approved Sputnik-V, the vaccine against Covid-19 developed by Russia.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) partnered with Dr Reddy's, Virchow Biotech Private Limited, Stelis Biopharma Pvt Ltd and Panacea Biotec this year to produce more than 700 million doses of vaccine.

The government opened the registration for vaccination to those above 18 years of age on Friday. People aged above 18 years of age have been brought under the ambit of vaccination as the government tries to battle the second wave of Covid-19 which has led to record surges in daily cases as well as death toll.

Along with Russia, the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, South Korea as well as China have extended their support to India in order to help the nation turn the tide in its fight against the second wave of Covid-19.