Statements for the press following Russian-Indian talks

Friday, 25 December 2015 11:06

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen,

The first official visit to Moscow by India’s Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, is coming to an end. Our talks were very substantive and fruitful. I hope they would assist in promoting the privileged Russian-Indian strategic partnership.

Yesterday Mr Modi and I had a separate informal meeting, where we covered key world developments. It is important that Russia and India have very similar approaches to the main global challenges.

Our countries are in favour of a political settlement of the Syrian conflict and national accord in Afghanistan. We are convinced that the entire international community would benefit from the creation of a broad anti-terrorist coalition acting based on international law and under the aegis of the United Nations.

Russia favours further enhancing of India’s role in resolving global and regional problems. We believe that India as a great nation with its balanced and responsible foreign policy is a worthy candidate to the position of a permanent UN Security Council member.

I would like to remind you that Russia actively supported India when it joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. We closely cooperate within BRICS, the rotating presidency of which we will hand over to India in February 2016.

In the course of today’s talks in restricted and expanded formats, as well as at our meeting with leading Russian and Indian business community representatives, we spoke about developing the entire range of bilateral relations, giving special attention to trade and economic cooperation.

Unfortunately, in the first 10 months of this year our mutual trade has gone down by 14.4 percent. This was mainly caused by a drop in energy prices and lower demand for machine building produce due to unfavourable external market situation and exchange rate differences. We agreed to enhance our efforts to bring trade to a stable growth trajectory, discussed practical measures to develop and diversify trade and lift administrative and other barriers. The key role here belongs to our Intergovernmental Commission, which met on October 20 in Moscow. Our significant reserve is in building up investment cooperation.

We agreed to increase mutual investment though greater industrial cooperation and implementation of major infrastructure and energy projects. Russia is assisting in building the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

The first unit of the plant was commissioned in June 2014. Weeks remain before the launch of the second unit. We intend to begin the construction of the third and fourth units in the near future. Negotiations are underway on units five and six.

We have agreed on India’s assigning another plot for the construction of Russian power units, where we intend to use the latest WWER-1200 reactors built with the application of the latest and safest technologies.

These are all practical steps directed at implementing an important document we signed one year ago – the Strategic Vision of Russian-Indian Cooperation in Peaceful Nuclear Power Use. It contains plans to jointly build in India at least six more power units over a period of 20 years.

The export of Russian hydrocarbons to the Indian market is growing. The agreement between Rosneft and Essar envisages large-scale deliveries of oil and petroleum products to Indian refineries – up to 10 million tonnes a year over a period of 10 years.

This year Gazprom has also delivered 5 consignments of liquefied natural gas to India, and we are implementing major projects in energy generation. The Silovye Mashiny corporation has completed deliveries and commissioned equipment for the Teri and Balimela hydro power plants and the Konaseema combined cycle power plant. Three units of the Sipat thermal power station are being built on a turnkey basis.

Large-scale business ties between Russia and India are by no means limited to energy. Thus, I would mention our strategic cooperation in the diamond industry. Russia is the largest diamond producer in the world with 27 percent of world extraction, while India is a leader in cutting diamonds with 65 percent of the trade. Almost half of the Russian feedstock is delivered to India.

Last year during our joint participation in the International Diamond Conference in New Delhi, Mr Prime Minister and I agreed to further enhance our cooperation, and work is underway. Thus, Alrosa has increased the number of its long-term contracts from 9 to 12. To expand cooperation, a special customs zone is being set up at the Mumbai diamond exchange.

We also agreed to launch new joint projects in such high technology areas as aircraft engineering, automotive industry, metallurgy, pharmaceuticals and the chemical industry. We discussed the prospects for Russian businesses to take part in the Indian import replacement programme, which is appropriately called Make in India. We see this as an additional opportunity for the creation of joint ventures, technology transfer and production of high-value-added goods.

The protocol that has been signed on simplifying travel requirements for certain categories of citizens of our two countries will promote more active business contacts and a more liberal visa regime. Now business people can visit Russia and India on direct invitations from their partners.

Our two countries have traditionally been working together in the sphere of military and military-technical cooperation, and I am not only referring to deliveries of ready-made goods, but also to close technological cooperation. An example of such cooperation is the joint creation of the BraMos missile complexes. We have already launched mass serial production of anti-ship missiles in the interests of the Indian Navy. Equally promising, in our opinion, is the discussion on projects to develop a multi-functional fighter aircraft and a multi-purpose transport aircraft. We have noted the importance of regular Indra joint land, naval and air force exercises.

Humanitarian ties remain another important component of the Russian-Indian partnership. This year Russians have shown great interest in events of the Indian culture festival. We hope that the festival of Russian culture, which will be held in India next year, would be just as memorable.

In conclusion, I would like to thank our Indian colleagues and friends, and Mr Prime Minister personally for the constructive joint work. We will continue to do everything possible to develop the Russian-Indian partnership for the benefit of our two countries.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi:

Your Excellency President Vladimir Putin, Members the Media,

Let me begin by expressing my deepest condolences on the loss of lives in the terrorist attack on a civilian Russian aircraft and in the unfortunate downing of the military jet in Syria. In this moment of grief and challenge, we stand in solidarity with the people of Russia.
Mr. President, thank you for generous and warm hospitality. You are the architect of the India-Russia strategic partnership. And, in a changing world, your leadership has kept our relations on a steady course of progress and growth.
Mr. President, I have always had great respect and appreciation for our strategic partnership. It has been a source of strength and success for India in defence, development and diplomacy. And, there is genuine goodwill and mutual respect between our people.
As I look to the future, I see Russia as a significant partner in India’s economic transformation and in shaping a balanced, stable, inclusive and a multi-polar world.
We have had excellent conversations over the past two days and very productive outcomes.
It has deepened my conviction that this relationship truly meets the test of a special and privileged strategic partnership.
We have laid the foundation of the future character of this strategic partnership.
The Inter-Governmental Agreement on manufacture of Kamov 226 helicopter in India is the first project for a major defence platform under the Make in India mission. It is rightly with our most important defence partner.
We have made progress on a number of other defence proposals. These would boost defence manufacturing in India and India’s defence readiness with next generation equipment.
The pace of our cooperation in nuclear energy is increasing. We are making progress on our plans for twelve Russian nuclear reactors at two sites. The agreement today will increase Indian manufacturing content in these reactors. It supports my mission of Make in India. I thank President Putin for his support.
With one of the world’s largest reserves of hydrocarbons, Russia can be a critical source of energy security for India, especially because of our strategic partnership. With President Putin’s support, we are enlarging Indian investments in Russian hydrocarbon sector.
President Putin and I are moving creatively in expanding our economic relations. Following our last Summit, India has created a special notified zone to facilitate direct trade between the world’s largest uncut diamond exporter, Russia, and India, which processes 90% of the world’s uncut diamond.
Second, we are working on logistics. Our Green Corridor project has taken off. The International North South Transit Corridor through Iran will significantly reduce transportation time and cost.
Third, we are moving forward on the India-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement. This will also benefit us in Central Asia.
Fourth, we are encouraging our private sector to connect with each other more. We have just had an excellent meeting of CEO Forum. The agreements and the announcements today give me confidence that we will see huge increase in investments and trade in both directions.
President Putin and I have a high degree of convergence in our positions on global issues and a strong commitment to deepen our international cooperation.
We have strong collaboration in the United Nations. Our membership of BRICS, East Asia Summit, G20 and now Shanghai Cooperation Organisation gives our partnership a global character. It is particularly important in the arc from Eurasia to Asia Pacific, including in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
We are one in our belief that the world must unite and take concerted action on combating terrorism, without distinction and discrimination between terrorist groups and target countries.
We agree that an early political settlement through dialogue in West Asia is essential for restoring stability and containing extremism in the region.
Indeed, all nations must come together, with sensitivity to each other, to address the challenges of our times.
I am very pleased to have deepened my association with President Putin. Together, we have also given new direction and added more momentum and content to our strategic partnership.
Just as I have had the pleasure of visiting Russia twice this year, I look forward to welcoming President Putin in India next year for the BRICS Summit as well as the Annual Summit.
Thank you.

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