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Putin: ties with India foreign policy priority for Russia

December 11, 2014, 17:11 UTC+3 NEW DELHI
Russia and India signed a package of 25 joint documents on developing bilateral cooperation
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Russian President Vladimir Putin and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Russian President Vladimir Putin and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi


NEW DELHI, December 11. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Thursday’s talks in New Delhi with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been “substantive and constructive.”

During Putin’s one-day visit, Russia and India signed a package of 25 joint documents on developing bilateral cooperation, including in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Putin said ties with India are a foreign policy priority for Moscow. The countries are expected to strengthen political dialogue and develop humanitarian contacts and economic cooperation.

The Russian leader stressed that the trade turnover between Russia and India in 2013, which totaled $10 billion, is “not enough at all.” Therefore, the parties discussed the ways of diversifying trade and boosting investments.

Russia and India plan to expand payments in national currencies, Putin said. “We agreed to use national currencies more actively in the payments,” the Russian president said.

Moscow and New Delhi have also agreed to continue consultations on the free trade agreement of India and the Eurasian Economic Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan which will come into effect on January 1, 2015.

Putin said the participants of the meeting have agreed to advance high-technology projects, and Moscow is planning to help India establish its own mobile phone operator.

Speaking on nuclear deals signed on Thursday, Putin said they pave the way for “a long-term, true and mutually beneficial cooperation,” also noting that the idea is to create a new industry for the country.

The sides have inked documents on construction of a second line of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, in southern India. They also have agreed to build more than 20 nuclear power units in India, and cooperate in joint uranium production, nuclear waste disposal and construction of other nuclear facilities designed by Russia.

Russian energy giants Rosneft and Gazprom together with Indian companies are preparing projects on developing the Arctic shelf, Putin said. “Our largest companies, Rosneft and Gazprom, together with their Indian counterparts are preparing projects on developing Russia’s Arctic shelf and expanding the supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG),” Putin told journalists.

The president also noted the importance of cooperation between Russia and India on the international arena. “We call for joint work on settling the situation in Syria and Iraq, and stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan,” he said.

Putin stressed that the approaches of two countries to key global and regional issues “coincide or are very close.” “Russia and India call for setting up a new architecture of security and cooperation in the Asian region,” he said.

Both countries are set to continue close cooperation as part of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) (China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan), in which India is an observer state.

The active joint work in these formats is “more than ever in demand in current uneasy conditions,” Putin said.

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