Kalam an outstanding scientist, wise statesman: Putin

Moscow, July 28 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday condoled the death of former Indian president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, terming him an “outstanding scientist and a wise statesman” who had done a lot to strengthen Indo-Russian friendship and “mutually beneficial” cooperation.

In a message to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he extended his “deepest condolences on the sad passing away” of Kalam who “rightly enjoyed high international authority as an outstanding scientist and a wise statesman”.

“It is difficult to overestimate his personal contribution to social, economic, scientific and technical progress of India and in ensuring its national security.

“In Russia, Abdul Kalam will be remembered as a consistent exponent of closer friendly relations between our nations who has done a lot for cementing mutually beneficial Russian-Indian cooperation,” he said in his message.

Putin sought his “words of sincere sympathy and support” be conveyed to Kalam’s family as well as the Indian government and people.

Kalam, the 11th president of India, died following cardiac arrest on Monday in Shillong while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management. He was 83.

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