Prime Minister’s statement to media during joint press interaction with Russian President
Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s statement to media during Joint Press Interaction with Russian President Mr. Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow today.
“I am delighted to be in Moscow for the India-Russia Annual Summit.
Our Summit has taken place just after the elections to the Russian State Duma, for which I conveyed my deep felicitations to President Medvedev.
President Medvedev and I have concluded a very extensive round of discussions which were held in an extremely warm, constructive and friendly spirit. We have reviewed our bilateral relations, which as is well known, are among the most substantive we have with any country. We have also reviewed regional and global issues of concern to both of us.
In today’s world of uncertainties, regional flashpoints and economic slowdown the India-Russia relationship stands out a factor of peace and stability in the world.
Our special and privileged strategic partnership has not just withstood the test of time. It has helped shape a balanced and inclusive world order, and it has contributed to the rapid growth of both our economies.
We reviewed the progress in the areas of civil nuclear energy, defence, space, oil and natural gas, science and technology, trade and investment, education and culture. A number of agreements have been signed in these areas.
We have agreed to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between India and Russia next year in a befitting manner.
Russia has been a tried and tested partner in the development of our nuclear energy programme. Both India and Russia are committed to ensuring the highest levels of nuclear safety. India welcomes the advocacy of nuclear safety by Russia at the international level.
The two sides have concluded negotiations and agreed on the terms and conditions for the Russian credit for Units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam nuclear power project. We look forward to moving ahead with the Roadmap for cooperation in the nuclear energy sector which we signed in 2010.
Our defence cooperation has reached a qualitatively new level, marked by joint design and development, as well as co-production. We are satisfied at the progress of the major projects.
We reiterated our intention to enhance the scale of our bilateral trade and investment relations. The current trade volume of 9 billion US dollars is far below the potential of our two economies. We will continue our focus on sectors such as oil and gas, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, mining, science and technology and innovation. I am happy that the Indo-Russian Science and Technology Centre has been inaugurated in Moscow.
India-Russia relations have global significance. We have been consulting closely in international forums, including the United Nations Security Council and BRICS. India will host the next BRICS Summit in March 2012, for which I have invited President Medvedev.
We share similar views on threats to international security from terrorism, piracy and drug trafficking. Our aims and objectives with regard to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and nation building efforts, and its ability to decide its own future without external interference are similar. Both India and Russia have a strong interest in promoting stability and prosperity in the region, and we agreed to work closely towards this objective.
We reviewed the significant developments that are taking place in West Asia and North Africa. We have agreed to keep in close touch on the developments in these regions.
We both agree on the need for the European Union to take urgent steps to address the Eurozone debt crisis, and restore market confidence.
India deeply values its close friendship and cooperation with Russia. We are committed to further deepening and strengthening it, and I believe we are on the right track.”