India, Russia agree to intensify Coordination on Key Issues

Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin also agreed to continue working together through multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, SCO, BRICS and G-20

India and Russia on Monday agreed to intensify consultation and coordination with each other on key issues, including the Indo-Pacific region, an Indian statement said after a rare informal summit between Indian and Russian leaders.

The statement was issued at the end of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s day long visit to Sochi, the Russian Black Sea port city, at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The informal summit is the second that Modi has had in recent weeks — last month the Indian prime minister had travelled to China for an informal meet with President Xi Jinping.

India’s ties with Russia and China were seen as unsteady with the key opposition Congress party slamming Modi for the seeming deterioration in ties. Russia was seen as a key partner of India for decades but of late, Moscow had been warily eying New Delhi’s warming ties with Washington.

India on its part has been looking on uncomfortably as Russia developed closer links with China — given its sliding ties with the West— and Pakistan.

The summit also comes amid increasing geo-political flux — with the US pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. It also comes as the US readies for talks with North Korea next month.

According to the Indian statement, the summit “provided an occasion for both leaders to deepen their friendship and to exchange views on international and regional issues, in keeping with the tradition of high level political exchanges between India and Russia”.

The two leaders had “in depth discussions” on major international issues, the statement said, adding that there was agreement on “the importance of building a multipolar world order.”

“ They decided to intensify consultation and coordination with each other, including on the Indo-Pacific Region. Prime Minister Modi and President Putin also agreed to continue working together through multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, SCO, BRICS and G-20,” the statement said.

The two leaders agreed that the “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia is an important factor for global peace and stability”, the statement said, adding that Modi and Putin shared the view that India and Russia had “an important role to play in contributing to an open and equitable world order”.

“In this regard, they recognized each other’s respective roles as major powers with common responsibilities for maintaining global peace and stability”, it said.

Modi and Putin were on the same page on terrorism and radicalization, the statement said, adding: “In this context, they endorsed the importance of restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan in an atmosphere free from the threat of terrorism, and agreed to work together towards achieving this objective.”

Both sides had detailed exchanges on their respective national development plans and priorities.

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“They expressed satisfaction over the deep trust, mutual respect and goodwill that characterises relations between India and Russia,” the statement said.

 

 

The two countries also agreed to add more muscle to their economic ties that have languished despite efforts to strengthen them.

“Both leaders agreed to institute a Strategic Economic Dialogue between NITI Aayog of India and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, to identify greater synergy in trade and investment. They noted with satisfaction the expanding cooperation in the energy sector and, in this regard, welcomed the arrival of the first consignment of LNG under a long-term agreement between Gazprom and GAIL, next month. The two leaders also reiterated the significance of longstanding partnership in the military, security and nuclear energy fields and welcomed the ongoing cooperation in these areas,” the statement said.

The two leaders welcomed the idea of holding informal summits as an additional engagement at leadership level, besides the annual summits between the two leaders, it added.

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