Modi, Putin resolve to take forward strategic ties

PTI Ufa (Russia) | Updated on January 24, 2018

Looking ahead: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Ufa, Russia, on Wednesday. PTI

BRICS not to form military, political alliance, says Russian President

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin today resolved to take strategic bilateral ties forward and discussed India’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

“I am looking forward to developing the cooperation (between the two countries),” Putin said, as the two leaders met here ahead of the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summits.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here today on a three-day trip to attend the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summits during which he hopes to have productive meetings and interactions with world leaders.

“It is very special to be in Russia, a nation whose remarkable friendship with India has always been known,” Modi said on his arrival.

He also thanked Putin for helping India with regard to SCO membership; the process is set to be completed by next year. Modi mentioned that the Russian President himself called him to inform about the decision of the six-nation grouping.

The process of India’s accession to the SCO is beginning, Putin said, adding that it was “a very important event.”

The Prime Minister, while talking about the close relationship between India and Russia, said he will be visiting this country again later this year for the annual bilateral summit meeting.

“I am hopeful of productive meetings and interactions at the BRICS and SCO Summits, forums we attach immense importance to,” the Prime Minister said.

He will first attend the summit of five-nation BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — which is expected to be dominated by discussions on enhancing cooperation in the economic area.

With the BRICS Development Bank already set up, the summit could also look at the possibility of starting trade and credit facility in local currency. BRICS has no plans to form a military and political alliance, Putin said, in an apparent effort to allay apprehensions of the West. He, however, emphasised that the grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, having “coinciding strategic interests”, wants to change the global monetary order which depends a lot on the US dollar.

“I would like to stress that we do not have any plans to form a BRICS military and political alliance,” Putin said.

Putin’s remarks came as Moscow is locked in an bitter standoff with the West over the Ukraine crisis that has seen him given the cold shoulder by the EU and the US.

5 key pacts with Kazakhstan

India and Kazakhstan on Wednesday inked five key agreements, including a defence pact to enhance military cooperation and a contract for supply of uranium, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev held comprehensive talks in which they decided to actively engage in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

Modi, who held restricted as well as delegation-level talks with Nazarbayev, noted that they also agreed to work closely to expand bilateral trade by addressing structural impediments between India and hydrocarbon-rich Kazakhstan.

“We have shared perspectives on many international issues, including regional peace, connectivity and integration; reforms in the United Nations; and, combating terrorism,” the Prime Minister said at a joint press event here with Nazarbayev.

Noting that the defence and security cooperation was an important dimension of strategic partnership between the two countries, Modi said, “We both want to make it stronger, including in defence manufacturing. We welcome the new memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation.”

The MoU would further widen the scope of bilateral defence cooperation, including regular exchange of visits, consultations, training of military personnel, military-technical cooperation, joint exercises, special forces exchanges, and cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations.

Published on July 08, 2015

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