Press statements following Russian-Indian talks
Following Russian-Indian talks, Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi made press statements.
June 1, 2017
Statement for the press following Russian-Indian talks. With Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I am pleased to once again welcome Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to Russia on his official visit, and to thank him for accepting our invitation.
Annual Russian-Indian meetings at the highest level have been held for many years now and have become a good and useful tradition.
Our talks are always held in a warm and friendly atmosphere, and are always substantive and productive. This time was no exception.
I will note one important distinction of Mr Modi’s current visit. This year, India is a partner country of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, so tomorrow the Prime Minister of India will address the forum’s plenary session as the main guest of honour.
I would also like to point out that 2017 is a special year for Russia-India relations. Diplomatic relations between our states were established 70 years ago. Bilateral cooperation has been developing steadily across all areas in the decades since, on a friendly and mutually beneficial basis. And now the Russian-Indian partnership has a genuinely strategic and especially privileged nature.
Today, the Prime Minister and I considered in detail the implementation of the decisions taken during the previous summit in Goa, and outlined new joint plans for the future. Our agreements made it into the St Petersburg Declaration adopted by us. It outlines steps to further deepen our bilateral cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres.
Encouraging the growth of trade, improving its structure, and expanding industrial cooperation constitute our key priority. As we are aware, bilateral trade was declining in recent years. We are pleased to note that this trend reversed this year, and bilateral trade is on the rise. It is gratifying to note that it was up 29 percent already in the first quarter of 2017.
Bilateral investment is also demonstrating positive dynamics. Russia’s cumulative investment in the Indian economy has exceeded $4 billion, and the relevant figure for Indian investment in Russia is $8 billion.
All these facts show that Russian-Indian economic cooperation is returning to a growth trajectory, and we both have a stake in consolidating this positive trend.
Effective work of the Intergovernmental Commission is playing a special role in this respect. We see the importance of assistance to businesses to promote major mutually advantageous joint projects.
As of today the sides have agreed a list of 19 projects aimed at establishing joint ventures for transport infrastructure, new technology, including pharmaceuticals, aircraft and automobile manufacturing, the diamond industry, and agriculture.
We just met with representatives of the business community and saw their interest in developing full-scale cooperation.
I would like to draw attention to our successful cooperation in the civilian nuclear industry, which was noted in my conversation with the Prime Minister. The first unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant was put into operation. The most reliable, latest Russian technology was used in its construction. The plant’s second unit has also started to generate electricity. At a joint teleconference in October 2016 with Narendra Modi we launched the construction of the plant’s third and fourth units. And we reaffirmed our intention to build in India at least 12 Russian-designed energy units, which will make a large contribution to the development of India’s nuclear industry.
We also agreed with our Indian partners to deepen cooperation in the military-technical field on the basis of a bilateral programme through 2020.
Notably, our cooperation is not limited to direct supplies of the latest Russian military equipment to our Indian partners. The assembly of high-tech military products has been set up in India with Russia’s participation. We agreed with the Prime Minister to continue to jointly develop and manufacture modern weapons systems.
Of course, the cultural sphere is another important component of the Russian-Indian partnership. The 2017–2019 Cultural Exchanges Programme is designed to further expand such exchanges. I reiterate that the peoples of our countries have always felt a profound affinity for each other and taken a genuine interest in each other's culture, history and spiritual values. The Festival of Indian Culture is currently being held in Russia, which was received with great interest by the Russian public. The Festival of Russian Culture held in India last year received many positive reviews.
Of course, Mr Modi and I focused in particular on international affairs. We agreed to continue to cooperate in the UN and other multilateral formats, such as BRICS, including, incidentally, the Russia-India-China trilateral format and the G20, and to work together to promote security and stability in Asia, and the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean regions. In this regard, Russia welcomes India joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a full-fledged official member. Its full accession will be formalised at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Astana on June 8–9, that is, one week from now.
Of course, we discussed other areas of our interaction. We will have another opportunity to talk in private today. We agreed to meet later in the day and to talk about the situation in Syria, Afghanistan, and other hot spots. I believe such confidential one-on-one exchanges have become customary, and I really appreciate this format.
In closing, I would like to thank the Prime Minister, and all our Indian friends, for a constructive and productive dialogue. I am confident that our agreements will help promote Russian-Indian strategic partnership across all areas and will contribute to strengthening friendship between the peoples of our countries.
Thank you for your attention.