Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday surprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by gifting him some pictures and coins that symbolise the bilateral relationship dating back to over 100 years.
Surprising even his own protocol men, Putin gave Singh an artwork about Tsarevich, who later became Nicholas II, which was a work of art of the Maharajas of Benares reflecting the connection of two royalties.
Nicholas II had visited India in 1890-91 and had toured 30 major cities of India.
Another gift was a map of India from the 16th century and coin of the Mughal period.
Though officially diplomatic relationship was established just a little over 60 years ago, Russia had opened its first consulate in Bombay in 1900 which was later shifted to Calcutta and then to Delhi after independence.
The Prime Minister replied, "I am touched by your gesture
and this reflects our historic and age-old ties."