Moscow: Hailing strong ties between India and Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the time-tested friendship between the two countries has been marked with warmth and the word that comes to mind on hearing the word Russia is "Bharat ke sukh-dukh ka saathi" (India's partner in happiness and sorrow).

PM Modi, who interacted with the Indian community in Russia at an event held in Moscow, also recalled the 'sar pe lal topi Russi, phir bhi dil hai Hindustani' line of a famous Bollywood number from the movie Shree 420, which was released in mid-fifties.

"The song was once sung in every household here...this song may have become old, but the sentiments are evergreen," he said.

In his address to the community, the Prime Minister thanked the Indian diaspora for the warm welcome and lauded its contribution in enhancing the India-Russia relationship. While greeting them on behalf of 140 crore Indians, he noted that his interaction with the community was special, as it was his first address to the Indian diaspora in his third term.

Prime Minister spoke about the transformation that has happened in India in the last ten years.

He said it is the objective of the government to become the third-largest economy in the world.

The Prime Minister further noted that India's call for peace, dialogue and diplomacy to resolve global issues had high resonance.

The Prime Minister encouraged the Indian community to continue playing a proactive role in forging a stronger and deeper partnership with Russia.

He mentioned that a decision has been taken to open two new Indian Consulates in Kazan and Ekaterinburg and this would give further boost to people-to-people ties.

The Prime Minister said that the India-Russia relationship is built on a strong foundation of mutual trust and respect.

"On hearing the word Russia, the first word that comes to every Indian's mind is 'Bharat ka such dukh ka saathi' (India's partner in happiness and sorrow), India's trusted friend. Our Russian friends call it 'druzba' and we call it 'dosti'," he said.

"'Russia me sardi ke mausam me temperature kitna hi minus me chala jaye, Bharat-Russia ki dosti hamesha plus me rahi hai, garmjoshi bhari rahi hai.' (No matter how much the temperature goes down to minus during the winter season in Russia, India-Russia friendship has always been in plus, it has always been warm.) This relationship is built on the strong foundation of mutual trust and mutual respect," he added.

PM Modi praised hard work and honesty of the Indian community, emphasising how their contributions have enriched Russian society.

"I am happy that India and Russia are working shoulder-to-shoulder to give new energy to global prosperity. All of you present here are giving new heights to the relations between India and Russia. You have contributed to Russian society with your hard work and honesty. I have admired the unique relationship between India and Russia for decades," he said.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed