PM Narendra Modi on Monday met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi. Modi, who is on a trip to Russia for an informal meet, congratulated Putin on his election as President for the fourth time. PM Modi hailed the historic ties between Indian and Russia. "India and Russia have been friends for a long time. Thankful to President Putin for inviting me for an informal meeting at Sochi," Modi said. PM Modi further said that India and Russia enjoy \u2018special privileged strategic partnership\u2019. Modi further hailed Russia's help to India in getting a permanent membership in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. "Russia played a major role in helping India get a permanent membership in SCO. We are working together on International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and BRICS," Modi said. The prime minister also invoked former premier and veteran politician Atal Bihari Vajpayee several times in his opening remarks. Modi referred to the 93-year-old BJP statesman at least seven times in his opening remarks. Vajpayee, a BJP stalwart, was the prime minister of India when Putin became Russian President for the first time in 2000. The prime minister's reference to Vajpayee came as he recalled Putin's first visit to India as the Russian President in 2000. "At that time you had praised the civilisation of India and Russia, and strong democracy, lively democracy to define our relations," he said. "Being a friend of Russia for a long time, we want to see Russia as a strong and confident country having an important role in the multipolar world," Modi quoted Vajpayee as saying during Putin's visit to India in 2000. Modi said that it is a pleasure to see that dream and farsightedness of Atal Bihari Vajpayee come true. The prime minister further hailed the ties between two countries and said the strategic partnership between India and Russia has now been elevated into a "special privileged strategic partnership" which is a "very big achievement".