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Joint Statement furthering the India-Russia Strategic Partnership to meet the challenges of a changing World

The Prime Minister of the Republic of India H.E. Dr Manmohan Singh paid an official visit to the Russian Federation from 15-17 December 2011 at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation H.E. Dmitry Medvedev. H.E. Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, held talks with H.E. Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, and H.E. Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

 

2. During the talks, the sides appreciated the advancement and further enhancement of the special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia. The sides noted that intense dialogue and regular high-level meetings that had taken place since the annual Summit in December 2010 helped to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing global situation and to promote close coordination of joint efforts in the international arena and also contributed to the continued implementation of large-scale trade, economic, investment, defence, scientific and technical projects, humanitarian and cultural exchanges, and people-to-people level contacts in the spirit of the traditional friendship between the two nations.

 

3. The sides noted with satisfaction that the entry into force of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Russian Federation on Mutual Simplification of Travel Documents for Certain Categories of Nationals of the two countries would promote broader business and scientific cooperation, boost professional, student and other exchanges between India and Russia.

 

4. The sides decided to commemorate the 65th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Russia in 2012 in both the countries in a fitting manner.

 

Enhancing bilateral trade, investments and innovative cooperation

 

5. The sides noted the fruitful work carried out by the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation which held its XVII session in Moscow on November 18, 2011. Decisions adopted by the Intergovernmental Commission and aimed at ensuring dynamic growth of bilateral economic ties focused on innovative and high-technology components, as well as investment projects that would contribute to the modernization and growth of both the economies. India welcomed Russia’s impending entry into the WTO. The sides decided to jointly study the possibility of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between India and the Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russia Custom Union. The sides decided to actively exchange business missions in various fields of cooperation and to work out details on industrial modernization opportunities in India. They decided to explore the setting up of a joint investment fund and to promote greater cooperation between the regions of the two countries. The sides expressed satisfaction that several joint projects in the Hydrocarbon, Steel, Mining, Automobile, Fertilizer and Pharmaceutical sectors are currently being pursued.

 

Energy Cooperation

 

6. The sides emphasized that cooperation in the energy sector had become one of the important pillars of the India-Russia Strategic Partnership. They reiterated their commitment to further long term joint collaboration in the civilian nuclear energy sector, as well as in the hydrocarbon sector.

 

7. The sides reiterated their commitment to implement their plans for a long term partnership in the field of peaceful nuclear energy as envisaged in the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes and the Road Map for strengthening large-scale cooperation between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Russian Federation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy which were concluded on March 12, 2010.

 

8. The sides noted with satisfaction the successful promotion of cooperation in the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and reaffirmed their commitment to the highest standards of safety of nuclear technologies. The sides recognized the competence and rich experience of Russian organizations in design and technical assistance and of Indian organizations in the construction of nuclear power plants and their technical expertise. The sides looked forward to the early commissioning of the first two units at Kudankulam.

 

9. As regards construction of Units 3 & 4 at the Kudankulam site, as envisaged in the “Inter-Governmental Agreement on Cooperation in the Construction of Additional Nuclear Plants Units at the Kudankulum site as well as in the Construction of Russian Design Nuclear Power Plants at New Sites in the Republic of India” of December 5, 2008, the sides noted with satisfaction that the discussions on the text of the Protocol for grant of State Credit by the Russian Federation to the Republic of India had been finalized and that negotiations on the techno-commercial offer on the construction of Units 3 and 4 were in an advanced stage. The sides reiterated their commitment to the agreements reached previously on the construction of Russian design nuclear power plants at new sites in the Republic of India.

 

10. The sides reiterated their commitment to deepening cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector, pursuant to the Framework Agreement for enhanced cooperation in oil and gas between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation that was signed on December 21, 2010. The Indian side reiterated its interest in equity participation through ONGC-OVL in new projects in Russia.

 

Space research

 

11. The sides commended the successful launch, by India, of the jointly built YouthSat for space science studies; and expressed satisfaction on the progress in implementation of the joint lunar exploration project. The sides agreed to continue cooperation in the space sector in the fields of satellite navigation and manned missions. The sides expressed mutual interest in using the Russian global navigation satellite system GLONASS and looked forward to furthering their cooperation in this field, including through the joint production of satellite navigation equipment and services for civilian users.

 

Military-Technical cooperation

 

12. The sides welcomed the outcome of the eleventh meeting of the India-Russia Inter Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation in addressing issues of mutual concern. The sides took note of the progress made in important joint defence projects such as the refitment of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov), joint development and production of Multi-Role Transport Aircraft, Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft and licensed production of various Russian origin defence equipment and armaments in India.

 

Scientific and technological cooperation

 

13. The sides noted with satisfaction that the major mechanism of interaction between India and Russia in the field of science and technology was the Integrated Long-Term Program (ILTP) for cooperation in the areas of science, technology and innovations for the period up to 2020 that is unique by its scale and diversity. The sides noted with satisfaction that the Moscow office of the India-Russia Science & Technology Centre (IRSTC) was inaugurated and that the New Delhi office would also be inaugurated shortly. They observed that the Centre would work in the very important area of commercialization of technologies. The sides agreed to support technology intensive programmes in areas such as bio-medical technology, nanotechnology, deep-ocean techniques and technologies, and information & communication technologies.

The sides encouraged the ongoing dialogue on technology intensive cooperation in areas of technology solutions for fly ash utilization.

 

Education

 

14. The sides noted the exchange of delegations of experts to hold discussions on a new intergovernmental Agreement on mutual recognition and equivalence of educational documents and degrees including medical documents and degrees. The sides agreed to continue their constructive discussions on the issue and to promote educational exchanges between the two countries.

 

Cultural and humanitarian exchanges

 

15. The sides noted the deep and rich cultural heritage of both the peoples and centuries-old bonds of friendship between them. The sides commended the impact of the Festival of Indian Culture in Russia held in Moscow, St Petersburg and Kazan in September 2011 under the Cultural Exchange Programme for 2010- 2012 between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation that was signed on December 7, 2009. A festival of Russian Culture in India is scheduled for 2012.

 

Coordination at the United Nations

 

16. As an important element of their Strategic Partnership, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to work together to strengthen the central coordinating role of the United Nations in international affairs as well as the crucial role of its Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security. In this context, they reiterated their agreement to further strengthen their cooperation on issues related to the reform of the UN and its Security Council and stressed that the reform of the UN Security Council should be carried out in a manner that makes this body more representative and effective in dealing with both present and emerging challenges. The Russian Federation expressed strong support to India for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council. The two sides also expressed satisfaction with their cooperation in the UN Security Council since January 1, 2011, when India joined the Council as a non-permanent member, and agreed to take this cooperation forward.

 

International financial and economic architecture

 

17. The sides expressed concern over negative trends in the global economy. They noted that the financial and economic situation in the Euro zone was a source of particular concern. The sides welcomed the decisions of the Cannes Summit of the G-20, particularly, the Action Plan for steady, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy. The sides emphasized that all countries needed to implement the Plan in an active and coordinated manner.

 

18. The sides identified successful completion of the IMF reform under the terms and conditions agreed in the framework of the G-20 as a key element of the general reform of the international financial architecture.

 

Situation in the Middle East and North Africa

 

19. In the context of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, the sides reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of: searching the way to overcome crises in the region in compliance with law, exclusively through peaceful means, avoiding violence and outside intervention, through broad, inclusive national dialogue on democratic reforms, taking into account the legitimate rights and aspirations of the peoples of the region.

 

20. They agreed that the fundamental transformation taking place in the states of the Middle East and North Africa should not be used as a pretext to delay resolution of lasting conflicts, but rather as an incentive to settle them. They spoke in favour of achieving comprehensive, just and final settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict on the basis of universally recognized international legal framework including the relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid principles and the Arab Peace Initiative. The sides support an early resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations aiming at the establishment of an independent, viable and territorially unified Palestinian State within the borders based on the lines of 1967, with negotiated mutually agreed territorial exchanges and East Jerusalem as its capital as well as joint efforts of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators. They called upon for early restoration of Palestinian unity. A common All-Palestinian position based on PLO principles and the Arab Peace Initiative would contribute to progress towards a Palestine-Israeli settlement, as also peace and security for all the countries and peoples of the region.

 

Security and cooperation in the region of Asia and the Indian and Pacific Oceans

 

21. The sides reiterated their support to the creation of a transparent, open, comprehensive, and balanced architecture of security and cooperation in the region based on the recognized principles of international law as well as respect for the legitimate interests of all states. They emphasized their commitment to the principle of indivisibility of security, unacceptability of attempts to enhance their own security to the detriment of other states' security, inadmissibility of preservation and creation of new dividing lines. The sides acknowledged the necessity of addressing both traditional and new security threats - terrorism, extremism, WMD proliferation, illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and maritime piracy. They expressed readiness to work closely within the framework of the East Asia Summit, which they regard as a leaders-led forum for dialogue on broad strategic, political and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia.

 

22. The sides agreed that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) had become an important factor for regional security and cooperation. Russia welcomed India's intention to join the organization as a full-fledged member and expressed the belief that its participation would significantly increase the political weight of the SCO and give new quality and dimension to cooperation within its framework. Russia stated that it stood for joint efforts with other SCO members to accelerate the process of India's full membership of the organization.

23. The sides noted that there were already several examples of successful regional cooperation formats operating in Asia and Indian and Pacific Ocean region, including the interaction between Russia, India and China (RIC). The importance of this format in fostering regional dialogue and cooperation was reaffirmed in the Joint Declaration of the 10th RIC Ministerial Meeting held on November 15, 2010 in Wuhan.

 

Development of BRICS Cooperation

 

24. The sides attached importance to strengthening cooperation among BRICS countries. They welcomed the growing role of BRICS in international political and economic life. The sides noted with satisfaction the progress achieved within the BRICS framework on cooperation in finance, trade, science and technology, agriculture and healthcare. Both sides reaffirmed their desire to jointly contribute to further development of cooperation within BRICS for the benefit of peoples of participating states.

The sides expressed confidence that the forthcoming BRICS Summit in 2012 to be chaired by India would be an important step towards strengthening the role of the grouping in the reform of global governance and towards further deepening intra-BRICS cooperation.

 

Disarmament and non-proliferation

 

25. India and the Russian Federation, as responsible states, possessing advanced nuclear technologies, share the objective of preventive proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, including preventing their possible acquisition by terrorist groups. Both sides agreed on the need for all states possessing nuclear weapons to accelerate concrete progress on the steps leading to global nuclear disarmament in a way that promotes international stability, peace and undiminished and increased security for all.

 

26. Both sides expressed interest in strengthening multilateral export control regimes as an important component of the global non-proliferation regime. In this regard, the Russian side reiterated readiness to assist and promote a discussion and positive decision in the NSG on India’s full membership in the NSG, and welcomed India’s intention to seek full membership. India underscored its determination to actively contribute to international efforts aimed at strengthening nuclear non-proliferation regime. The Russian Federation also took into consideration India’s interest in full membership in MTCR and the Wassenaar Arrangement.

 

27. While recognizing the inherent right of states to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, India and the Russian Federation stressed the need for all states to comply with their respective obligations on non-proliferation. The sides support the central role of the IAEA and its safeguards system in the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, in accordance with its statute. The sides intend to support international efforts aimed at promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy as part of a proliferation-resistant architecture of international cooperation, based on strict implementation of non-proliferation obligations. As supplier states, the sides support multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle at the IAEA.

 

Combating Terrorism

 

28. The sides recalled the bilateral Moscow Declaration between India and the Russian Federation on International Terrorism signed on November 6, 2001 in Moscow. They strongly condemned the existence of safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorism, and reiterated that States that aid, abet or shelter terrorists were as guilty of acts of terrorism as their actual perpetrators.

 

29. Both sides reaffirmed the need for all states to combine efforts to vanquish terrorism. They agreed that there was no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism, and that India and Russia being pluralistic states were especially vulnerable to acts of terrorism which are attacks against the values and freedoms, enshrined in their societies. Both sides reaffirmed that international terrorism is a threat to peace and security, a grave violation of human rights and a crime against humanity. They reaffirmed the central role of the United Nations in the combat against international terrorism and in this context called for an early adoption of the UN’s draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

 

Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking

 

30. The sides emphasized the importance of joint bilateral and multilateral efforts in the fight against illicit drug trafficking which poses a growing threat to international peace and stability, taking into account the fact that this criminal business had become one of the main financial source of international terrorism. The sides confirmed their intention to closely interact in preparation for the Third Ministerial Conference of the Paris Pact initiative to be held in Vienna on February 16, 2012.

 

Iran's Nuclear Energy Programme

 

31. India and the Russian Federation expressed concern over the situation emerging around Iran’s nuclear programme. Both sides support a comprehensive and long-term settlement of the situation through exclusively political and diplomatic means by promoting dialogue. The sides noted in this context that unilateral sanctions could be counter-productive. They recognized Iran’s right to develop research, produce and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with its international obligations. India and the Russian Federation urged Iran to comply with the provisions of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and extend full cooperation to the IAEA. Afghanistan

 

32. The sides expressed their readiness to continue promoting the establishment of Afghanistan as a peaceful, democratic and independent state, free from terrorism, outside interference and drug-related crimes, with a sustainable economy. They expressed concern over escalation of extremist activity throughout the territory of the country, including previously relatively peaceful provinces, drug production growth, and unresolved socio-economic problems.

 

33. Supporting the transfer of responsibility for the situation in the country to the National Security Forces, the sides urge to intensify efforts to build up their capacity. The sides believe that the international military presence in Afghanistan should be linked to the security situation on the ground.

 

34. India and the Russian Federation support the efforts taken by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to establish a peaceful dialogue with the armed opposition, provided that the process goes on under the Afghan leadership and that the fighters meet the redlines enunciated by the international community: the recognition of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, renunciation of violence and breaking with al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. They consider it necessary to continue the UN Security Council sanctions regime as an essential anti-terror tool.

 

35. The sides noted with satisfaction the growing global understanding of the important role played by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan neighboring states, states and organizations of the region, and urge to focus the efforts in the region on the development and improvement of sound structures of regional cooperation, like the SCO and SAARC amongst others. They expect that the international community in their efforts in this regard will respect the decisions taken by the countries of the region in the framework of these organizations.

 

36. The Prime Minister of the Republic of India expressed his gratitude for the hospitality and cordial welcome during his official visit to Moscow and extended an invitation to the President of the Russian Federation to visit India. The invitation was accepted with pleasure.

 

Moscow
16 December 2011

 

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