India, Russia review ties, sign pacts to intensify cooperation
New Delhi, December 24, 2012
India and Russia today undertook an extensive review of their multi-faceted bilateral cooperation, especially in energy, defence, space, trade and investment, science and technology, education, culture and tourism, and signed as many as ten documents aimed at further strengthening the framework of their cooperation.
At the 13th India-Russia Summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin here, the two sides also agreed to continue implementing the roadmap for cooperation in the nuclear energy setor signed during Mr Putin's visit in 2010 as the then Prime Minister of Russia.
Dr Singh said at a joint press conference with Mr Putin after their talks that the development of India's nuclear energy programme has been a key pillar of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
"Construction of Unit 1 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is now complete, and power generation will commence shortly. India appreciates deeply the support extended by Russian engineers and scientists in this project. We look forward to the completion of Unit 2 next year," he said.
"Negotiations for the construction of Units 3 and 4 at Kudankulam have made good progress. We intend to continue implementing the roadmap for cooperation in the nuclear energy sector that was signed during President Putin’s visit in 2010 as the then Prime Minister of Russia," he said.
Dr Singh described Mr Putin as a valued friend of India and the original architect of the India-Strategic Partnership.
"I conveyed to President Putin our deep appreciation for his long-standing and personal commitment to this partnership," he said.
He said Indo-Russian energy cooperation also extended to the oil and natural gas sectors and said he had conveyed to Mr Putin India's interest in deepening cooperation in this area, including through mutual investments and joint projects in third countries.
"Russia is a key partner in our efforts to modernize our armed forces and enhance our defence preparedness. A number of joint design, development and production projects are underway in high technology areas. We expressed satisfaction that these projects are progressing well," he said.
Dr Singh congratulated Mr Putin on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization and said its deeper integration into the global economy will present more opportunities for the business communities in both countries.
"Our bilateral trade has grown by over 30% this year. There is still untapped potential in areas such as pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, mining, steel, information technology, civil aviation, telecommunications, infrastructure, food processing, innovation and services, which we will work to exploit. We have asked our inter-governmental and business level groups to recommend specific steps for enhancing bilateral trade and investment flows," he said.
The Prime Minister said science and technology cooperation between the two countries remained robust. He said both he and Mr Putin welcomed the operationalization of the India-Russia Joint Science and Technology Centres in India and Russia, which can assist the development and commercialization of promising technologies, including in nano-technology, bio-medicine and super-computing.
"I particularly welcome the agreement on cooperation in using the GLONASS satellite navigation system that has just been signed," he said.
The two leaders also discussed regional and global issues, on many of which there is a marked congruence in their approach.
"Our consultations in international for a, such as the UN Security Council and BRICS, have deepened during the year. I congratulated President Putin on Russia’s assumption of the Chair of G-20. We look forward to working closely with Russia in promoting reform of global economic and international structures of governance," he said.
Dr Singh said India and Russia shared the objective of a stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, free from extremism, terrorism and external interference.
"We reviewed the ongoing developments in Afghanistan, and agreed to work together against threats posed by extremist ideologies and drug trafficking. We also discussed the situation in West Asia, and agreed to continue consultations," he said.
Noting that this year marked the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Russia, he said India deeply valued Russia’s steadfast friendship and support for India, unaffected by global developments.
"This relationship has a special place in the hearts and minds of Indians and India remains committed to further deepening it," he added.