September 9 the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in New Delhi jointly with the Indian Association of Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in India held a seminar dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the Russia and Federation and the Republic of India entitled “Russian-Indian Relations: Achievements and Perspectives”.
Addressing participating in the programme Indian diplomats, political scientists, representatives of socio-political and scientific communities from different regions of India, including those from the Indian capital, Punjab and Kashmir, Charge d'Affaires of Russia in India Mr. Denis Alipov noted the historical continuity of the Treaty, which preserved basic provisions and the spirit of friendship and understanding inherent in the predeceasing Soviet-Indian agreement of 1971. He said that the foundation of strong bilateral relations lays within the common values: commitment to democratic ideals, inviolability of sovereignty, mutual understanding and respect. Denis Alipov also stressed that Russia and India always share views on key international issues. In particular, he quoted the words of President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, highlighting the strong and consistent position of India on the Syrian issue.
Director of the RCSC Mr. Fedor Rozovskiy reminded to the participants of the seminar that the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, signed by the Russian Federation and the Republic of India on January 3, 1993 was the fundamental international legal document of the Russian-Indian cooperation. The Treaty also provided the solid foundation for the basic bilateral political document: the Declaration on Strategic Partnership, signed on October 3, 2000 in Delhi during the visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to India. He also pointed out the relevance of the seminar held on the eve of the annual bilateral summit scheduled for October of this year in Moscow.
Former Foreign Secretary of India and Ambassador to Russia Mr. Kanwal Sibal, the main speaker from the Indian side stressed that responsible commitment always valuable in modern changing world has always been the basis of the Russian-Indian relations. "It is important to be sure that you can rely on your partner, this is the main characteristic of partnership – reliability," – said Mr. Kanwal Sibal.
According to the Indian diplomat, the most important part of the Russian-Indian relations is defense cooperation. Its depth and scale is manifested by the fact that Russia has leased to India for a term of 10 years the nuclear submarine "Nerpa" – in the Indian Navy it was called "Chakra". "I can not think of any country that would have leased us a nuclear submarine" – Sibal said, recalling that Russia and India are developing large-scale joint projects for the development of fifth generation fighter aircraft and multipurpose transport aircraft (MTA).
The panel discussion was followed by vivid and emotionally intense speech by Professor Bhim Singh, President of Panthers party of India, senior executive member of the Supreme Court Bar Association of India, and former member of the Indian Parliament, the military pilot Kamal Choudhary, who stressed the important balancing role of Russia in the maintenance of multi-polar world.
At the seminar an increase of the Russian investments to the Indian economy, strengthening of the public diplomacy, growth in the number of Indian students going to study in Russian universities has been noted. However, the panelists agreed that the potential of the Russian-Indian privileged strategic partnership in these areas is far from exhausted, and the two countries should continue to exert concerted efforts for their further sustainable development.
Concluding the programme that has been covered by the local and Russian press and electronic media, as well as by radio and television, there was organized a dinner celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the fundamental document of the Russian-Indian cooperation.