St. Petersburg: Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today met Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 18th Annual India Russia Summit at St. Petersburg.
Addressing the media at the end of the Summit, President Prime Minister Modi recalled his first visit to St. Petersburg as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001. He said ties between India and Russia span the spectrum from Culture to Defence (Sanskriti se Suraksha).
The Prime Minister said 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries have been marked by a high degree of convergence on various bilateral and global matters.
The Prime Minister described the St. Petersburg Declaration, issued today, as a benchmark of stability in a turbulent, interdependent and interconnected world. He said India’s participation as a guest country in SPIEF and his address there tomorrow would further deepen economic cooperation between the two nations.
The Prime Minister described energy cooperation as one of the cornerstones of the relationship between India and Russia, and noted that this cooperation in the nuclear, hydrocarbon, and renewable energy sectors has been considerably deepened by the discussion and decisions taken today. In this context he mentioned the agreement of Units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.
The Prime Minister emphasized the role of the private sector in enhancing trade and commerical ties between the two countries, adding that India and Russia are close to achieving the target of 30 billion US dollars worth of investment by 2025.
Speaking on the theme of connectivity, the Prime Minister mentioned cooperation between the two countries in the International North South Transport Corridor. Among other initiatives, the Prime Minister mentioned the “bridge to innovation” to promote startups and entrepreneurship, and the forthcoming commencement of discussions on a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union.
Underlining the time-tested strategic dimension of the India Russia relationship, the Prime Minister mentioned the forthcoming first Tri-services exercise – INDRA 2017, between the two countries. Defence production Joint Ventures for the production of Kamov 226 helicopters and frigates were also mentioned. The Prime Minister welcomed Russia’s unconditional support to India on the issue of cross border terrorism.
On the cultural side, the Prime Minister said the deep awareness of Russian culture in India, and of Yoga and Ayurveda in Russia, was a matter of deep satisfaction.
The Prime Minister welcomed and applauded President Putin’s leadership in the growth of India-Russia relations.
He announced that a road in Delhi has been renamed after Ambassador Alexander Kadakin, whom he described as a friend of India, who passed away recently.
Earlier, addressing CEOs of both countries, the Prime Minister invited Russian companies to invest in key sectors of the Indian economy, and particularly mentioned opportunities in the strategic sector.
India and Russia signed five agreements today in sectors covering nuclear energy, railways, gems and jewellery, traditional knowledge and cultural exchanges.
Earlier today, the Prime Minister paid homage to the heroic defenders and brave soldiers of the Battle of Leningrad, at the Piskarovskoye Cemetery.