Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India is significant as the 21st India-Russia Annual Summit has been highly productive. This was after the the two countries also held their inaugural 2+2 ministerial dialogue between their foreign and defence ministers.
Calling India a great nation, President Putin laid stress on boosting military and economic cooperation while giving his opening remarks during the meeting between the two leaders. “We perceive India as a great power, a friendly nation, and a time-tested friend. Relations between our countries are growing and are looking into the future,” said President Putin.
President Putin said Russia and India also cooperate greatly in military and technical spheres like with no other country. “By that I mean we develop high technologies together as well as produce in India,” he said.
Sources said,speaking on Afghanistan President Putin expressed his concern.“We continue to cooperate jointly on the global agenda and as you have said indeed our positions are quite similar and coincide. Naturally, we are concerned about everything that has got to do with terrorism. I mean fight against terrorism also drug trafficking, organised crime. And with that regard naturally, we are concerned about the developments and situation in Afghanistan.”
The Russian President added, “Last year the trade decreased by 17%, this year in the first nine months of this year, we see an increase by 38%. And naturally, we have every opportunity to reach the levels of trade that we have spoken before. And the same applies to investments. Right now the mutual investments stand at about 38 billion with more investments coming from the Russian side.”
Prime Minister Modi thanked President Putin for his support extended to the Indians staying in Russia, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, said the sources adding that both leaders discussed the need for mutual recognition of vaccine certification to enable easier travel by citizens to each other’s countries.
There was a total of 28 agreements signed which included four importan military-related pacts. Some main outcomes of the meeting were India and Russia signing a 10-year long military-technical cooperation agreement and the contract to manufacture six lakh units of the AK-203 assault rifles in India. The supply of the strategic Air Defence Missile system S-400 has begun recently added the sources.
Briefing the media on Monday on the sidelines of President Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting, Indian Foreign Secretary HV Shringla said, “President Putin’s visit is short but highly productive & substantive. There were excellent discussions between the two leaders. 28 agreements/MoUs were concluded during this visit. These agreements include those between Govt to Govt and business to business”
Enhancing bilateral trade & investment figured prominently in the talks. “This year, we’ve noticed an encouraging trend of growth in our trades compared to last year. Both sides are looking forward to the continued increase in trade and investment trajectory.”
With regards to energy, “We have expressed interest in further investments in the oil and gas sector, as well as in the area of petrochemicals” informed FS Shringla.
On the trade & investment side, there are some specific plans which include long-term cooperation in the areas of inland waterways, fertilizers, coking coals, steel, and skilled manpower. Coking coals emerged as an important area of corporation
This was President Putin’s second only visit abroad since the lockdown with the first being to Geneva earlier.