Russia and India have established a relationship that could be described as a “special and privileged partnership”. A statement to this effect was made by President Vladimir Putin during his current official visit to New Delhi. The year 2012 marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and India.
The agenda of the talks focused on expanding bilateral trade and economic ties. Trade between Russia and India has increased by nearly six times since 2000. Vladimir Putin commented on prospects for further cooperation.
“Mutual trade amounted to nearly $9 bln in 2011. We expect it to hit $10 bln in 2012 and to increase twofold over the next few years. About 50% of exported and imports goods on both sides are produced on the basis of high technology. This year, the supply of Russian-made cars, equipment and chemicals to India has increased by 40%. Russia and India have agreed to increase mutual investments. A memorandum between the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the State Bank of India which was signed on Monday will create more incentives for ramping up mutually beneficial cooperation, including between small and medium-sized businesses.”
Nuclear energy projects occupy a particular place on the Russia-India cooperation agenda. According to Indian Prime Minister Manmohal Singkh, his country appreciates Russia’s assistance in building the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. President of Russia’s Rosatom Corporation Sergei Kirienko says the Russian side has made a particular breakthrough in the Kudankulam Project.
“The Kudankulam Project meets all ‘post-Fukushima’ requirements and has passed ‘stress tests’. If it had been somewhere near Fukushima at the moment of the disaster, it would have withstood the earthquake and the tsunami, thanks to the high level of its nuclear safety.”
Mutual investments make up yet another important chapter of bilateral cooperation between Russia and India. The Russian Direct Investment Fund and the State Bank of India clinched an important deal to this effect in New Delhi. The Fund’s President Kirill Dmitriev comments.
“Each party will invest up to $1 billion in joint projects. We expect bilateral trade to increase by $10bln – $30bln over the next three years.”
Russian companies are taking part in projects to build metal-working plants in Bhilai, Rourkela and other cities of India. Russia’s Severstal is a partner in a joint project to build a full-cycle metalworking facility in India. Russian insurance companies Ingosstrakh and ROSNO are tapping the Indian market as well. In addition, Russia and India have signed a number of important agreements on cooperation in defense and technology.
Russia and India are also set on bolstering cooperation within the framework of international organizations, including the BRICS group, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the RIC group which comprises Russia, India and China, and the G20.
Russia, India sign package of agreements
Russia and India have signed a package of cooperation agreements in the framework of Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi, according to the Voice of Russia correspondent.
The two countries have specifically signed a memorandum of understanding between the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the State Bank of India. The two will invest in joint projects one billion dollars each.
The Russian and Indian Ministries of Culture have signed a cultural exchange programme for 2013 through 2015, while the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Science and Technology of India have signed a memorandum of cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovations.
An agreement was also concluded on the sidelines of the summit on setting up a joint venture by the Helicopters of Russia Company and India’s Elcom Systems Private Ltd.
Moscow, Delhi in Syria dialogue call
Russia and India call on world powers to comply with the Syria resolutions of the UN Security Council and the decisions of the Geneva conference on Syria. They believe there is no way out of the Syrian crisis other than a national political dialogue.
President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said this in a joint statement issued after their talks in New Delhi on Monday.
According to the United Nations, the Syrian conflict has claimed 20,000 to 30,000 lives since first erupting 21 months ago.
The Syrian government says foreign-backed terrorists are at work.
Russia, India to foster military ties
Russia and India have made a commitment to foster bilateral military and technical cooperation, Russian President Putin has said in the wake of his Monday meeting with PM Manmohan Singh.
“We have agreed to step up Indian-Russian cooperation in military and technical spheres, to work on new projects through joint ventures and know-hows exchange,” Mr. Putin said.
He cited the fresh deal between a Russian state-run chopper maker and India on exports of helicopter units and equipment.
India has agreed to purchase 71 MiG-17B-5 helicopters worth 1.3 billion dollars. Russia is also to deliver to India 1.6-billion-dollar plane units to organize the licensed assembly of Su-30MKI jet fighters.