India, Russia agree on building multipolar world order
Sochi (Russia), May 22 (IANS) India and Russia on Monday agreed on building a multipolar world order after an informal summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin here.
"The two leaders agreed that the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia is an important factor for global peace and stabilit," the Indian External Affairs Ministry said in a statement, adding that they agreed both nations "have an important role to play in contributing to an open and equitable world order".
"In this regard, they recognised each other's respective roles as major powers with common responsibilities for maintaining global peace and stability."
According to the statement, Modi and Putin held indepth discussions on major international issues, agreeing "to intensify consultation and coordination with each other, including on the Indo-Pacific region".
This decision assumes significance after India, along with Japan, the US, and Australia revived a quad to work for the peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
"Both leaders expressed their concern over terrorism and radicalisation, and their determination to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," the statement said.
"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."
According to the statement, Modi and Putin held detailed exchange of views on national development plans and priorities.
"They expressed satisfaction over the deep trust, mutual respect and goodwill that characterizes relations between India and Russia," it said.
"While expressing their satisfaction at the positive momentum since the last bilateral Summit in St. Petersburg in June 2017, the two leaders directed their officials to prepare concrete outcomes for the forthcoming Summit in India later this year."
India and Russia also agreed to institute a Strategic Economic Dialogue between India's NITI Aayog and Russia's Ministry of Economic Development, to identify greater synergy in trade and investment.
"They (Modi and Putin) 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 statement said.
"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."
"Extremely productive discussions with President Putin," Modi tweeted following the informal summit earlier on Monday.
"Friendship between India and Russia has stood the test of time. Our ties will continue to scale newer heights in the coming years."
"I am happy that today I got the opportunity to be a guest of President Putin and that too in Sochi," Modi said after being received with a warm hug by Putin at his summer residence, Bocharev Creek, in this resort city on the Black Sea coast.
"We have been regularly holding bilateral meetings but I am grateful to President Putin for inviting me for an informal summit which has taken our relationship to a new level."
On his part, Putin said that there is no need to explain Russian-Indian relations, since these have deep roots.
"However, we have been able to create additional momentum recently. Last year, our trade saw a significant increase, adding another 17 percent since the beginning of this year," he said.
Stating that Russia and India are proactive in their foreign policy cooperation, including within international organisations such as the UN, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and now the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Putin said: "We have established close contacts and collaboration between our defence agencies. All this is indicative of the high level of strategic relations between our countries."
Modi arrived here earlier on Monday on a nine-hour visit for the informal summit proposed by Putin soon after his re-election as Russian President.
The Indian leader's visit comes after National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale visited Moscow earlier this month to discuss a way out of the US sanctions on Russian firms.
The sanctions against Russian oligarchs and companies, including Rosoboronexport, the state-owned Russian weapons trading company, has raised concerns in India about a possible impact on India's military buys from Moscow.
The withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal can be seen as another major reason for the informal summit.
Putin is expected to visit India later this year for the annual bilateral summit.
Following Monday's summit, Modi and Putin took a boat ride on the Black Sea and, according to Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, the two leaders "had plenty to discuss".
The Sochi meeting came after a similar informal summit Modi held with Chinese President Xi Jinping in China last month.
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