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Russia, India continue strategic partnership development

Kommersant daily this week said Putin’s one-on-one talks with Modi would likely be the defining moment for the deal as the two seek to resolve price disagreements. It has been a source of strength and success for India.

Amid huge “Modi-Modi” chants clubbed with a grand felicitation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed the Indian community in Moscow while making a strong pitch for India-Russia ties which according to him go beyond politics, diplomacy, trade & commerce and stated that Russia has always stood beside his country as a “friend”. A deal signed by Russian and Indian officials after Thursday’s talks envisaged that components for the Russian-built reactors will be produced in India. He recalled that Moscow had “strongly supported India’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and that the two countries were actively cooperating within the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), where India will take the rotating presidency in February 2016”.

In the nuclear energy sector, India is expected to offer a site in Andhra Pradesh to set up units five and six of Kudankulam nuclear power plant. “The way things are going, it is clear India will play a key role”, Modi said, adding that those who saw India only as a market were now seeing India as a manufacturing hub. It is rightly with our most important defence partner. This is the 16th India-Russia annual summit and Modi’s second summit with Russia.

On whether India will request Russian Federation to share details on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, he said the issue had figured during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s recent visit to Moscow. “The agreement today will increase Indian manufacturing contents in these reactors”.

Putin hosted Modi for a private dinner ahead of Thursday’s hectic schedule of engagements between the two countries.

For years, India and Russian Federation – despite their all-weather friendship – had struggled to translate those ties into hard monetary gains for the two nations: New Delhi’s trade with Seoul was higher than with Moscow.

Trade between India and Russian Federation, just below $10 billion in 2014, fell by more than 14 percent this year.

Former Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said on Twitter, “Spending so much time overseas seems to have made PM forget what the Indian National Anthem sounds like. A number of Russian and Indian companies are working together”, he said.

President Putin and I are moving creatively in expanding our economic relations. IMF, World Bank, Rating agencies-Everybody says India is the fastest growing major economy, the Indian PM said. And, there is genuine goodwill and mutual respect between our people.

We have had excellent conversations over the past two days and very productive outcomes.

Although the relationship is designated as “a special and privileged strategic partnership”, it has failed to live up to this high-sounding description.

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