As a privileged strategic partner of India, Russia’s humanitarian gesture has come at a time when India is facing unprecedented health crisis

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Moscow on Thursday dispatched 22 tonnes of medical supplies to India, grappling with a catastrophic wave of coronavirus.

Two planes operated by the Russian EMERCOM landed in India this morning, carrying 20 oxygen production units, 75 ventilators, and 2,00,000 packs of medicines, a statement released by Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay R Kudashev said.

“Russia is closely watching the situation in India, which is becoming more and more alarming with unprecedented spread of the coronavirus infection. We sincerely empathise with the Indian people due to our traditionally warm and friendly relations,” he added.

“The Russian Federation decided to send humanitarian assistance to India in the spirit of the special and privileged strategic partnership between our two countries, as well as in the context of our anti-Covid-19 cooperation,” the Russian ambassador maintained.

He also talked about the upcoming delivery of Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine starting from May 1, and the country’s role in subsequently facilitating the production of the vaccine in India.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with Russian President Putin and both leaders had discussed the evolving Covid-19 pandemic situation.

President Putin expressed solidarity with the people and government of India and conveyed that Russia would extend all possible support in this regard.

Prime Minister Modi thanked President Putin and noted that the prompt Russian support to India was a “symbol of our enduring partnership”.