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MOSCOW, October 4 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and India have found solutions to a number of military-technical cooperation problems, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov told his Indian counterpart A.K. Antony.
“A lot has been done to fulfill [bilateral] agreements since our meeting in New Delhi in October 2010. Solutions have been found to a number of problems in the Russian-Indian cooperation,” he said. “India is a strategic partner of Russia. It ranks first in the world by the amount of defense exports from Russia.”
“The close and frank relations with India are a key foreign political priority of Russia,” Serdyukov said. “Our strategic partnership is based on the similarity of fundamental national interests. We are well aware of the importance of cooperation with your country for both states and for international security.”
Serdyukov said he hoped that the Indian administration also viewed defense and military-technical cooperation with Russia as a priority.
The military-technical cooperation program for 2011-2020 signed at the Russian-Indian summit in December 2009 laid down the foundation of contacts in that area for the next decade. Serdyukov hopes that results of his meeting with the Indian colleague and the meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation “will give a boost to the joint work.”
In turn, Antony said that the sides solved many problems in October 2010. He affirmed good progress, too.
Russia is a unique strategic partner and an old friend of India, he said. This friendship has a long history, and it is important to preserve and to develop bilateral relations, he noted.
The minister thinks that the upcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Moscow would spur on bilateral strategic partnership. He hopes the visit will be successful.