NEW DELHI, January 19. /TASS/. Moscow supports New Delhi’s intention to play a greater role in resolving the issues that the Asia-Pacific region has been facing, Russian Ambassador to India Nikolai Kudashev said on Friday.
"In our view, India should play a greater role in regional affairs, so Russia supports its intention to acquire APEC membership," he said, addressing a roundtable on Russian-Indian relations in New Delhi.
"Our global and regional priorities are similar to a large extent or even coincide. We are proud to maintain a deep, unbiased, sincere and promising dialogue, which not many countries are capable to build," the Russian ambassador went on to say. "A thing to note is that our mutual obligations are not aimed against any other countries’ interests and serve to promote a constructive agenda," he added.
Kudashev also said that Russia and India needed to promote collective efforts aimed at resolving regional issues.
"Russian-Indian cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region should help outline a collective approach to regional problems," the Russian diplomat pointed out. "This region has been turning into a center of the global economic and political activities, so it provides us with just another reason for adopting a cautious attitude towards the region, promoting mechanisms of dialogue in order to effectively solve issues," he noted.
Other participants in the roundtable also emphasized the need to determine a joint approach to global issues. Former Indian Ambassador to Russia Pundi Srinivasan Raghavan said that apart from the two country’s officials, experts, researchers, media workers and businessmen also needed to boost mutual understanding to better assess joint prospects, be it the situation in Afghanistan, relations with China or the United States.
According to the Russian ambassador, relations between Moscow and New Delhi have been steadily progressing.
"We are looking forward to the next Russian-Indian summit, which is supposed to be held in autumn," Kudashev said. "Thorough preparations always take place ahead of such summits. So, we expect that negotiations on a free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and India will begin in late January, while in February, Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin is scheduled to visit India. After that, there will be meetings on trade, economic, military and technical cooperation," the ambassador said.
Kudashev stressed that Russia placed great importance on the development of bilateral relations in light of the Eurasian integration. Russia and India have made many achievements at bilateral level, so there is a need to find new ways to boost ties, he said.
"Russia is the only country building nuclear power plants in India, we have made a significant contribution to the development of India’s space programs, we are the leading supplier of weapons and military technologies to India and its biggest partner in the oil and gas industry. But there are also new areas of cooperation. The fourth industrial revolution is on its way, new clean technologies are being put into operation, as well as nanotechnology, we should think about it, and a lot of work is being done in this regard," the Russian ambassador to India said.