Modi, Putin discuss regional and global developments, including Afghanistan situation
New Delhi, December 7, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed regional and global developments, including the post-pandemic global economic recovery, and the situation in Afghanistan during the 21st Annual India-Russia Summit held here on Monday.
A statement from the Prime Minister's Office said the two leaders agreed that both countries share common perspectives and concerns on Afghanistan and appreciated the bilateral roadmap charted out at the NSA level for consultation and cooperation on Afghanistan.
"They noted that both sides shared common positions on many international issues and agreed to further strengthen cooperation at multilateral fora, including at the UN Security Council. President Putin congratulated Prime Minister Modi for India’s ongoing non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council and successful Presidency of BRICS in 2021. Prime Minister Modi congratulated Russia for its ongoing chairmanship of the Arctic Council," it said.
Putin was accompanied on the visit by a high level delegation.
"The bilateral talks between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin were held in a warm and friendly atmosphere," the statement said.
"The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the sustained progress in the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’ between both countries despite the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic. They welcomed the holding of the first meeting of the 2+2 Dialogue of Foreign and Defence Ministers and the meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Military & Military-Technical Cooperation in New Delhi on 6 December 2021," it said.
The leaders underscored the need for greater economic cooperation and in this context, emphasized on new drivers of growth for long term predictable and sustained economic cooperation.
They appreciated the success story of mutual investments and looked forward to greater investments in each others’ countries. The role of connectivity through the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the proposed Chennai - Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor figured in the discussions.
The two leaders looked forward to greater inter-regional cooperation between various regions of Russia, in particular with the Russian Far-East, with the States of India.
They appreciated the ongoing bilateral cooperation in the fight against the Covid pandemic, including humanitarian assistance extended by both countries to each other in critical times of need.
"The Joint Statement titled India-Russia: Partnership for Peace, Progress and Prosperity aptly covers the state and prospects of bilateral ties. Coinciding with the visit, several Government-to-Government Agreements and MoUs, as well as those between commercial and other organizations of both countries, were signed in different sectors such as trade, energy, science & technology, intellectual property, outer space, geological exploration, cultural exchange, education, etc. This is a reflection of the multifaceted nature of our bilateral partnership," the statement added.
President Putin extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Russia for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit in 2022.
Earlier, in his remarks at the summit, Modi pointed out that, despite the challenges posed by Covid, the pace of relations between India and Russia has not changed.
"Our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership has been continuously strengthening. The fight against Covid has also seen excellent cooperation between the two countries - whether in vaccine trials and production, in humanitarian assistance, or in the repatriation of each other's citizens," he said.
Modi said the year 2021 is of prime importance for the bilateral relations in many ways.
"This year marks five decades of the 1971 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation and two decades of our Strategic Partnership. It is my pleasure to be with you again in this special year because you have been the main driver of the remarkable progress our Strategic Partnership has made over the past 20 years," he said.
The Prime Minister noted that there had been many fundamental changes at the global level in the last several decades. "A lot of geo-political equations have emerged. But India-Russia friendship has been a constant among all these variables. Both the countries have not only cooperated with each other without any hesitation but have also taken special care of each other's sensitivities. It is truly a unique and reliable model of inter-state friendship," he said.
"2021 is also special for our Strategic Partnership. Today was the inaugural meeting of the 2+2 dialogue between our Foreign and Defence Ministers. This has started a new mechanism to enhance our practical cooperation," he said.
Modi said the two countries have been in regular touch on Afghanistan and other regional issues as well.
"The regional partnership that began with the Eastern Economic Forum and the Vladivostok summit is today turning into a real cooperation between the Russian Far-East and the Indian states.
"We are also adopting a long-term vision to deepen our relationship the economic sector. We have set a target of $30 billion in trade and $50 billion in investment by 2025. We must guide our business communities to reach these goals.
"Our agreements today in various sectors will facilitate it further. Our defence cooperation is being further strengthened through co-development and co-production under the 'Make in India' programme. Our cooperation in Space and Civil Nuclear fields is also progressing well.
"Many congratulations to Russia for being an observer at NAM and a dialogue partner at IORA. It was our pleasure to support Russia's presence in both these forums. India and Russia have identical views on all the regional and global issues," he said.
In his remarks, Putin said that Russia perceives India as a great power, a friendly nation, and a time-tested friend.
"The relations between our nations are growing and I am looking into the future," he said.
Putin also expressed concern over the situation in Afghanistan, and termed "fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime" as the key challenges on which both the countries will have to cooperate.
"We continue to cooperate jointly on a global agenda. Our positions are quite similar in the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime," he said.
"It is natural that we're concerned about the developments in Afghanistan," he said.
Earlier in the day, Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had talks with their Russian counterparts Sergey Lavrov and General Sergey Shoigu, respectively. They discussed key bilateral, regional and international issues, including the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.
Later, the four Ministers held the first 2+2 Dialogue between the two countries.