Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, 28 April, spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin and discussed the COVID-19 situation. The conversation with Putin comes amid a devastating second wave of the pandemic in India that has paralysed the healthcare infrastructure and resulted in a paucity of life-saving resources in many parts of the country.
Tweeting about his conversation with Putin, PM Modi said:
“We also reviewed our diverse bilateral cooperation, especially in the area of space exploration and renewable energy sector, including in hydrogen economy. Our cooperation on Sputnik-V vaccine will assist humanity in battling the pandemic,” PM Modi added.
The two leaders have agreed to establish a 2+2 ministerial dialogue between their respective foreign and defence ministers to "add further momentum" to their strategic partnership.
Following the interaction, Russia announced that is it sending over 22 tonnes of medical supplies to aid India’s efforts to come to grips with the pandemic.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, two transport planes carrying medical supplies are already en route to India.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry will be delivering the COVID-19 related equipment, including 20 oxygen production units, 75 lung ventilators, 150 medical monitors and 200,000 packs of medicine.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Tuesday informed it will export the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine to India from 1 May.
Earlier on Monday, PM Modi had a telephonic conversation with US President Joe Biden.
On Wednesday morning, India breached the 3,000-mark for daily COVID-related deaths for the first time and a record 3,293 deaths were reported, taking the country’s death toll to 2,01,187.