Welcoming remarks by H.E. Mr Nikolay Kudashev, Ambassador of Russia to India, at the Second Meeting of Heads of Think-Tanks (HoTT) of Russia and India (December 4, 2017, New Delhi)

Thursday, 07 December 2017 09:58

Esteemed Vijay Gokhale,
Ambassador Nalin Surie,
Dr Sergey Glazyev,
Dr Evgeny Kozhokin,
Dr Arvind Gupta,
Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure and honour to greet you today on this remarkable occasion!
The very fact that you are holding the second round of your dialogue and planning to sign the Memorandum of Understanding elevating this forum to the formal level demonstrates that Russia and India are committed to further expansion of special and privileged strategic partnership through promoting ties between prominent scholars and academicians.
Moreover, this interaction takes place against the backdrop of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries, and we regard this meeting as part and parcel of celebrations.
Throughout the history, intimate cooperation of Russia and India has always remained immune to changing geopolitical landscapes. Our global and regional priorities to a great extent are coinciding or similar. We take pride in our ability to have profound, open-minded, sincere and forward-looking discussions that, frankly speaking, not many countries can enjoy. It is important to note that our mutual engagements are not directed against anybody else’s interests and promote unifying and constructive agenda, as envisaged in the core of Russian foreign policy.
In our global vision, we are both active proponents of a stronger central role of the United Nations, democratization of global governance, respect for international law and multipolarity, unacceptability of interference into domestic affairs as well as double standards and unilateral sanctions. Along with that, when we deal with various regional crises, it is important to take into account interests of all involved nations, which is critical to achieving lasting solutions, be it in Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Korean Peninsula, Libya or Yemen.
We have reached a unique level of cooperation and mutual support in the framework of multilateral fora, including, first of all, the UN-led bodies, BRICS, G20, the WTO, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit. The Indian accession to the SCO is a welcomed step that was strongly backed by Russia as it would immensely contribute to the stability in the region. We should also further proceed shoulder-to-shoulder on building equal undivided security architecture in the Asia-Pacific.
Start of negotiations between India and the Eurasian Economic Union and full implementation of the North-South transport corridor project are on our immediate agenda.
As you are well aware, just in few days New Delhi will host one of the most important events in the foreign policy calendar – the trilateral ministerial meeting between Russia, India and China. This format brings about opportunities to enhance coordination of the three countries pertaining to vital global and regional issues as well as to consolidate mutual trust that is considered as the key factor of stability in Eurasia.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will also have bilateral meetings with President Ram Nath Kovind and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in order to compare notes as to where we stand in the current bilateral interaction and to outline further agenda of our time-tested cooperation as a whole.
The more we develop our bilateral partnership, the more it becomes special and privileged, particularly when it comes to defence and military-technological cooperation with sharing of sensitive technologies and holding advanced exercises, as well as collaboration in nuclear power engineering that now, along with construction of nuclear reactors in India, has extended to the oil and gas sector.
Numerous joint initiatives in such areas as manufacture, heavy industry, metallurgy, information and communication technologies, pharmaceuticals and chemicals production are of great importance in terms of attracting more investments and high technologies to support economies of our two countries and their deeper involvement in global supply chains.
The tradition of annual summits between the leaders of Russia and India helps to elevate the entire gamut of our relationship to new heights. At the same time, meetings of leading political and economic science experts meaningfully serve the same goal. This is why the importance of regular contacts between think-tanks cannot be overestimated.
Your agenda for the two days meeting is comprehensive and highly relevant. However, generally speaking, the major outcome would be your dedicated effort to further deepen our mutual understanding with regard to prospects, concerns and aspirations of our two countries in the changing geopolitical scenario.
I wish you a very productive and successful dialogue!
Thank you for your attention!

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