Indian PM congratulates Putin on his party`s victory

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the victory of his party in Dec 4 parliamentary polls.

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2011, 22:17 PM IST

Moscow: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday
congratulated his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the
victory of his party in December 4 parliamentary polls, widely
perceived by the West as `rigged`.

According to the transcript of the initial remarks at
their meeting provided by the Russian Prime Minister`s Office,
Singh said: "permit me to congratulate you and the people of
Russia on successful State Duma elections and the victory of
United Russia party."

The ruling United Russia had obtained 238 seats in the
450-strong State Duma polls, down sharply from the 315 seats
it won in the elections in 2007.

Putin, 59, who is set to reclaim the presidency in 2012
elections, is facing one of the biggest challenges to his
12-year rule amid massive protests against him following the
polls, which has been described as "rigged" by the West.

Singh, who is here on a three-day visit to attend the
12th annual bilateral summit, after his wide ranging talks
with President Dmitry Medvedev had a meeting with Putin.

Singh also wished success for the Putin in the
presidential polls.

He said in India Putin is seen as a `special friend` and
`architect` of the privileged strategic partnership between
the two countries.

Welcoming Singh in his office, Putin underscored that the
relations between Russia and India are not undergoing any
changes in essence; they are only developing and moving
forward.

PTI