Moscow, December 9: Russian President Vladimir Putin has lavished praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his tough stance on defending India's national interests without being "intimidated" by any pressure and said the policy pursued by him is the "main guarantor" of the progressively developing bilateral ties. Putin's comments came at the "Russia Calling!" forum.

The Russian leader said he "cannot imagine that Modi could be frightened, intimidated or forced to take any actions, steps, decisions that would be at variance with the national interests of India and the Indian people".

He said relations between Russia and India are developing in all areas. Russian President Vladimir Putin Praises India Says, ‘PM Narendra Modi Cannot Be Intimidated or Forced To Take Actions Contrary to Indian Interests’ (Watch Video).

Putin, who on Friday announced his intention to run for the presidency again in 2024, said he can feel pressure on Modi from unfriendly countries.

Putin disclosed that he and Modi never even discussed this subject, the Russian News Agency TASS reported. Russian President Vladimir Putin Praises PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ Initiative; Says It’s the ‘Right Thing’ To Do.

"I just look at what is happening from the outside, and sometimes, frankly speaking, I am even surprised at his tough stance on defending the national interests of the Indian state," the Russian president stressed. The Western countries have criticised India for charting its own course in the face of Western sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and continuing its import of discounted Russian crude oil.