President leaves for Russia on Thursday


New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee left on a 4-day visit to Russia on Thursday to witness the parade that marks the victory of Allied forces in the Second World WaDuring the trip, Pranab Mukherjee will hold bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on civil nuclear cooperation, defence ties and partnership in higher education.

Nine MoUs and eight cooperation agreements in higher education are expected to be signed between the two countries.  A 75-member Indian Army contingent from the Grenadiers will take part in the military parade in Moscow during the Victory Day celebrations. President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the “Namaste Russia” cultural festival and will also be conferred an honorary doctorate by the Russian Diplomatic Academy. Prior to his departure, President Pranab Mukherjee said the role of Russian soldiers and civilians changed the course of Second World War, its outcome and the future of the world.

He was replying to written questions from ITAR TASS News Agency on the eve of his visit to Russia. The President said it will be an honour to be part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of World War II which recognizes the monumental contributions of Russia to the victory over Nazism and Fascism. He was very happy an Indian Military contingent will be part of the Victory Day parade for the very first time.

The commemoration reminds us of the need for all countries to strive actively for peace, for the common benefit of humankind and to never forget lessons of the War.