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President Vladimir Putin's state visit to India began with an official welcome ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Presidential Palace

October 3, 2000, Delhi

The President’s motorcade was met by Indian President Kocheril Raman Narayanan and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the main square in front of the Rashtrapati Bhavan Palace.

Answering questions from the media after the welcome ceremony, Mr Putin said that bilateral cooperation and coordinating Russia’s and India’s action on the international stage would be the main subjects of discussion at the upcoming talks.

Regarding the expected signature of a Declaration on Strategic Partnership, Mr Putin said that this would create a long-term foundation for cooperation between the two countries in all areas.

The President then visited the Raj Ghat memorial complex, where he paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India’s struggle for independence. Mr Putin laid a wreath at the eternal flame and signed the guest book.

In accordance with tradition, Mr Putin planted an evergreen magnolia in the park surrounding the memorial complex.

October 3, 2000, Delhi