PM Modi and Russian Prez Vladmir Putin hold 21st India-Russia Annual Summit in New Delhi; two countries sign record 28 agreements

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 at the India – Russia Annual Summit held in Delhi yesterday. In his opening remarks at the Summit, Prime Minister Modi said the pace of relations between India and Russia has not changed despite the challenges posed by Covid and the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership has been continuously strengthening. He added that the fight against Covid has also seen excellent cooperation between the two countries, whether it be vaccine trials and production, humanitarian assistance, or repatriation of citizens.

Mr Modi said there have been many fundamental changes at the global level in the last several decades and a lot of geo-political equations have emerged. He asserted that India-Russia friendship has been a constant among all these variables. He said both the countries have not only cooperated with each other without any hesitation but have also taken special care of each other’s sensitivities. He called it a unique and reliable model of inter-state friendship.

The Prime Minister said the first 2 plus 2 dialogue between defence and foreign ministers which took place earlier yesterday starts a new mechanism to improve behavioural cooperation. India and Russia have been in regular touch on Afghanistan and other regional issues as well. Mr Modi said 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.

Mr Modi stated that they are adopting a long-term vision to strengthen bilateral partnership in economic affairs. He highlighted that that they have set a target of trade worth 30 billion dollars and investment worth 50 billion dollars by 2025. He said bilateral defence cooperation is being further strengthened through co-development and co-production under the ‘Make in India’ programme and cooperation in Space and Civil Nuclear fields is also progressing well.

In his statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country perceives India as a great power, a friendly nation, and a time-tested friend. He said the relations between the two nations are growing and he is looking into the future. He said India and Russia cooperate greatly in military and technical sphere like no other country. He also said that fight against terrorism is also fight against drug trafficking and organized crime.

Both sides agreed that they 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 they shared common positions on many international issues and agreed to further strengthen cooperation at multilateral fora, including at the UN Security Council.
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 plus 2 Dialogue of Foreign and Defence Ministers and the meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation yesterday.

The leaders underscored the need for greater economic cooperation and 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 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.

President Putin arrived in Delhi last evening for a short official visit to India. He was accompanied by a high level delegation. Bilateral talks between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin were held in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

A Joint Statement titled India-Russia: Partnership for Peace, Progress and Prosperity was released following the Summit which covers the state and prospects of bilateral ties. Coinciding with the visit, 28 agreements were signed in different sectors including trade, energy, science and technology, intellectual property, outer space, geological exploration, cultural exchange, and education.
An Agreement on Program of the Military-Technical Cooperation from 2021-2031 was signed. This 10 year Defence Cooperation Program outlines the ongoing defence cooperation and future possible cooperation between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the first ever India Russia 2 plus 2 Ministerial Dialogue was held in New Delhi yesterday afternoon. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar represented the Indian side in the 2 plus 2 Dialogue and the Russian side was represented by their Foreign Affairs Minister and Defence Minister.

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