Following is the text of the Prime
Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s statement to the media at the 13th
India-Russia Annual Summit in New Delhi today:
“It is my great pleasure to welcome His
Excellency President Vladimir Putin to India for the 2012 India – Russia
Annual Summit. President Putin is a valued friend of India and the
original architect of the India-Russia strategic partnership. I conveyed
to President Putin our deep appreciation for his long-standing and
personal commitment to this partnership.
This morning, we undertook an extensive
review of our multi-faceted bilateral cooperation, especially in energy,
defence, space, trade and investment, science and technology, education,
culture and tourism. The documents signed during this visit will further
strengthen the framework for our cooperation.
The development of our nuclear energy
programme has been a key pillar of our strategic partnership.
Construction of Unit 1 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is now
complete, and power generation will commence shortly. India appreciates
deeply the support extended by Russian engineers and scientists in this
project. We look forward to the completion of Unit 2 next year.
Negotiations for the construction of Units
3 and 4 at Kudankulam have made good progress. We intend to continue
implementing the Roadmap for cooperation in the nuclear energy sector
that was signed during President Putin’s visit in 2010 as the then Prime
Minister of Russia.
Our energy cooperation also extends to the
oil and natural gas sectors. I conveyed to President Putin India’s
interest in deepening cooperation in this area, including through mutual
investments and joint projects in third countries.
Russia is a key partner in our efforts to
modernize our armed forces and enhance our defence preparedness. A
number of joint design, development and production projects are underway
in high technology areas. We expressed satisfaction that these projects
are progressing well.
I congratulated President Putin on
Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization. Russia’s deeper
integration into the global economy will present more opportunities for
the business communities in both countries. Our bilateral trade has
grown by over 30% this year. There is still untapped potential in areas
such as pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, mining, steel, information
technology, civil aviation, telecommunications, infrastructure, food
processing, innovation and services, which we will work to exploit. We
have asked our inter-governmental and business level groups to recommend
specific steps for enhancing bilateral trade and investment flows.
Our science and technology cooperation
remains robust. President Putin and I welcomed the operationalization of
the India-Russia Joint Science and Technology Centres in India and
Russia, which can assist the development and commercialization of
promising technologies, including in nano-technology, bio-medicine and
super-computing. I particularly welcome the agreement on cooperation in
using the GLONASS satellite navigation system that has just been signed.
We also discussed regional and global
issues, on many of which there is a marked congruence in our approach.
Our consultations in international for a, such as the UN Security
Council and BRICS, have deepened during the year. I congratulated
President Putin on Russia’s assumption of the Chair of G-20. We look
forward to working closely with Russia in promoting reform of global
economic and international structures of governance.
India and Russia share the objective of a
stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, free from
extremism, terrorism and external interference. We reviewed the ongoing
developments in Afghanistan, and agreed to work together against threats
posed by extremist ideologies and drug trafficking. We also discussed
the situation in West Asia, and agreed to continue consultations.
This year marks the sixty-fifth
anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India
and Russia. We deeply value Russia’s steadfast friendship and support
for India, unaffected by global developments. This relationship has a
special place in the hearts and minds of Indians and India remains
committed to further deepening it.
I once again extend a very warm welcome to
President Putin and his delegation, and wish him and the people of
Russia the very best for the New Year.”