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Joint Statement: Celebrating a Decade of the India- Russian Federation Strategic Partnership and Looking Ahead

December 21, 2010

  • The President of the Russian Federation H.E. Mr. Dmitry Medvedev paid an official visit to India on 21-22 December 2010 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Republic of India H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh for the 10th Annual Summit meeting under the India Russia Strategic Partnership. The sides noted that the decade which passed since signing of the Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation on 3 October 2000 in New Delhi had proved the historical significance of this document. Reviewing the /breadth and depth of India - Russia relations, the sides observed that in the last 10 years the relationship between the two countries had been built up to the level of a special and privileged strategic partnership. They stressed that this partnership had been marked by close coordination of foreign policy approaches to a wide range of international and regional issues; large-scale trade and economic interaction involving modernization and deployment of high-technology; greater military and technical cooperation, including in the joint manufacture of modern armaments and the transfer of technologies; and a warm traditional friendship between the peoples of the two countries, particularly manifested in cultural and people-to-people bonds.
  • During their discussions in New Delhi, the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation reviewed the rapid progress that had been achieved in all principal areas of bilateral cooperation, including in the military-technical, energy, and high technology sectors of space and tele-communications. The sides also noted the strong congruence of their views on regional and international issues of importance to the security of both countries.

    Intensifying Trade and Investments
  • The Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation noted the substantial progress that had been made in bilateral trade in recent years despite the considerable potential of our trade and economic cooperation which is still to be fulfilled. The sides agreed to continue their efforts to achieve the strategic target of bilateral trade volume of US $ 20 billion by 2015. The sides recognized that considerable potential exists for mutually beneficial investments by the Russian Federation and India in the privatization programmes and programmes aimed at fostering technological innovation in their respective economies. They emphasised the important role that the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation and its Co-Chairs play. They also noted that the conclusion of the agreement on simplification of visa procedures for nationals of the Republic of India and the Russian Federation, at the Summit, would help enhance contacts between the business communities of the two countries. Both sides agreed to consider the possibility of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement taking into account the implementation of the agreements on constituting the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, after due consultation with all parties involved.

    Deepening the Energy Partnership
  • The sides noted that the Russian Federation as a major energy producing country and India as a major energy consuming country viewed bilateral energy cooperation as an important pillar of the Strategic Partnership. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the progress in bilateral cooperation in the nuclear energy sector and looked forward to further /broadening and strengthening ties in this area. They reviewed the progress that has been made for the commissioning of Units 1&2 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project and the discussions for setting up additional units at Kudankulam including Units 3&4. India and the Russian Federation also agreed on the need for collaboration in scientific research in nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The Russian side welcomed India’s decision to set up a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership and agreed to discuss future cooperation with this Centre. The sides also agreed to consider cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with third countries.
  • The sides also reviewed the ongoing efforts to establish joint cooperation ventures between Indian and Russian companies in the oil and gas sectors. It was agreed that the inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector signed during the Summit, must serve as an effective enabling legal mechanism to expedite governmental clearances on both sides to facilitate the creation and operation of such joint ventures. The sides agreed to promote specific projects to encourage direct business-to-business dialogue between Indian and Russian oil and gas companies, to ensure that the contacts result in concrete and mutually beneficial commercial agreements between the companies including joint ventures in upstream and downstream activities in India, Russia, and third countries.

    Innovation as the Driver of S&T Cooperation
  • The sides reviewed progress made in bilateral scientific and technological cooperation. They expressed satisfaction at the extension of the Integrated Long Term Program (ILTP) for scientific and technical cooperation for another decade and its focus on identifying innovation-led technology programs. The creation of new and innovative technologies would be at the heart of the respective economic modernization programs in the two countries. Continuous efforts would be made to identify programmes that would be built on the existing linkages between the Indian and Russian scientific establishments. The new Indian-Russian S&T Centre would facilitate such programs.

    New Prospects in Space
  • The sides agreed to intensify cooperation in a /broad range of flagship cooperation projects in the space sector, including the lunar exploration, human space flight and Youth Sat projects. They also appreciated the progress being made in India’s utilisation of Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System, GLONASS.

    Stepping Up Military Technical Cooperation
  • Both sides acknowledged that the traditionally close cooperation between the two countries in the military-technical field is a major pillar of the India-Russia Strategic Partnership, and a reflection of the trust and confidence that has built up between the two countries over the last half century. The Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation reviewed the outcomes of the Tenth Meeting of the India- Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation held in October 2010 in New Delhi, and shared the assessment that the Agreement on a Long Term Program for Military and Technical Cooperation for the period 2011-2020 signed in December last year would further accelerate progress of our interaction transforming it from a buyer-seller format to a more substantive engagement that includes joint research and development, manufacturing and marketing activities. The Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation also expressed satisfaction at the regular service-to-service interactions, and joint exercises that have taken place between the defence forces of the two countries. They noted with satisfaction that the third India - Russia Joint Military Exercises held in India on October 13-23, 2010 focused on counter terrorism operations and had concluded successfully. The sides agreed to make efforts to continuously upgrade joint military exercises in all forms including in the field of counter terrorism.
    Coordination of Approaches to International and Regional Issues
  • The Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation observed that coordination of approaches of India and the Russian Federation to various international and regional issues was an effective way of raising contribution of both the countries to strengthening global peace, security and stability and to building a just and democratic world order. The Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation agreed that the changes taking place in the international system provide an opportunity to build an international order that is inclusive and democratic, based on the supremacy of international law, and adhering to the goals and principles enshrined in the UN Charter. They reiterated the view that by further intensifying the bilateral India -Russia strategic partnership both countries would be able to better respond to the challenges thrown up by these changes.

    Strengthening the Central Coordinating Role of the United Nations
  • Both sides noted that an important element of the India - Russia Strategic Partnership is their joint activities that are aimed at strengthening the central coordinating role of the United Nations Security Council in the maintenance of global peace and security as well as to increase the efficiency and authority of the United Nations in other areas of global governance. In this context the sides agree to further strengthen their cooperation on issues related to the reform of the UN and its Security Council. The reform of the UN Security Council should be carried out in a manner that reflects contemporary realities and makes this body more representative and effective in dealing with both present-day and emerging challenges. The Russian Federation supports India as a deserving and strong candidate for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council. The two sides also decided to work closely in the UN Security Council during the 2011-12 period when India occupies a non-permanent seat in the Council.

    Promoting Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Efforts
  • India and the Russian Federation, as responsible states, possessing advanced nuclear technologies, share the objective of preventing 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. India welcomed the signing of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. India and the Russian Federation are interested in strengthening multilateral export control regimes as an important component of the global non-proliferation regime. In this regard, the Russian side expressed 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. Russia also took into positive consideration India’s interest in full membership in MTCR and the Wassenaar Arrangement.

    While recognizing the inherent right of states to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, India and the Russian Federation stress 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.

    Strengthening Security Cooperation in Asia and the Indian and Pacific Ocean Regions
  • The sides noted that there were already several examples of successful regional economic and security cooperation formats operating in Asia and the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions. In this context the sides noted the successful interaction between India, Russia and China in the IRC format and the importance of this regional format in fostering dialogue and cooperation on global and regional issues between these three major states and great civilizations of the region in accordance with the Joint declaration of the 10th IRC Ministerial meeting held on 15 November 2010 in Wuhan.
  • The sides noted that South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states have moved forward to a stage of successful implementation of regional economic integration projects, /bringing development benefits to the entire region. Russia will consider the possibility of establishing cooperation with SAARC.
  • The sides noted that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) had emerged as an important factor for regional security and cooperation in the Eurasian region. The President of the Russian Federation welcomed India's intention to join the organisation as a full member, which he said would significantly increase the SCO's political weight and give a new quality and dimension to cooperation in this association. The Russian Federation agreed to make efforts along with other SCO members to accelerate the process of India's entry into the organisation.
  • In their discussions on Asia, the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions, the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation noted that the economies in the regions were increasingly becoming the main drivers of global economic growth and prosperity and that it was important for India and Russia to work towards the creation of a transparent, open, inclusive and balanced security and cooperation architecture in the Asia Pacific region based upon universally agreed principles of international law and giving due consideration to the legitimate interests of all states. In this regard, the sides agreed to consult further with each other. The sides stressed the need for international cooperative measures to counter both traditional and non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, extremism and weapons of mass destruction proliferation, drug trafficking, organized crime as well as the need for strengthening maritime security and freedom of navigation in accordance with the universally accepted principles of international law, including combating piracy at sea, and to address the humanitarian consequences of natural disasters. The sides resolve to enhance confidence-building amongst all States of the region with a view to promoting regional peace and stability.
  • The sides noted that the mechanism of the East Asia Summits (EAS) provides new opportunities for strategic dialogue on all aspects of security and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region. The Prime Minister of India welcomed Russia’s joining the EAS, which is now encompassing all key States of the region.
  • Russia affirmed that India joining the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) would enhance the APEC potential and effectiveness and expand trade and investment cooperation in the region. Russia supports India’s application to join the APEC and intends to work in this direction when the moratorium on the new membership is lifted.
  • The sides noted the importance of the mechanism of Defence Ministers of ASEAN and ASEAN dialogue partners (ADMM-Plus) as a key component of a robust, effective, open and inclusive regional security architecture that would enable the ADMM to cooperate with the eight "Plus” countries to address our common security challenges.

    Promoting Cooperation among Emerging Economies
  • The sides noted that /brIC plays an important role in promoting a multi-polar world order as also a more harmonious international system based on international law, equality, mutual respect, cooperation, coordinated action and collective decision-making. /brIC has also played an important role in promoting international economic and financial stability. The sides observed that meetings of /brIC Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors have been useful. The sides welcomed the proposed inclusion of South Africa into the /brIC process in 2011.

    Combating the Scourge of Terrorism
  • The Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation recalled the bilateral Moscow Declaration between India and Russia on International Terrorism signed on 6 November 2001 in Moscow. 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 agreed that there is no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism, and that multi-ethnic democratic countries like India and Russia were especially vulnerable to acts of terrorism which are attacks against the values and freedoms enshrined in their societies. The sides strongly condemned those who support terrorism noting that States that aid, abet or shelter terrorists are as guilty of acts of terrorism as their actual perpetrators. Both sides reaffirmed the need for all States to combine efforts to vanquish this evil. India and the Russian Federation reaffirmed the central role of the United Nations in the combat against international terrorism and in this context called for an early completion of the negotiations on the UN's draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. The sides agreed that all terrorist networks must be defeated. They called upon Pakistan to expeditiously /bring all the perpetrators, authors and accomplices of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks to justice. India expressed sympathy for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the Moscow metro stations in March 2010, and expressed support for the Government of the Russian Federation's efforts to eliminate terrorism from Russian soil.

    Stabilising the Afghan Situation
  • The sides expressed concern at the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, where successful stabilization will be possible only after the elimination of safe havens and infrastructure for terrorism and violent extremism that are present in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In this context the two sides also underscored the importance of stepped up action by the International Security Assistance Force in combating production and trafficking of illegal narcotics in Afghanistan. The sides welcomed the Afghan Government's policy of reintegrating those individuals who agree to give up violence, adhere to the Afghan constitution and do not have ties with al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Both sides highlighted the need for strict observance of the sanctions regime against persons and entities listed by the UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee.

    Iran's Nuclear Energy Program
  • India and Russia reiterated that all possible efforts should be made to address the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations and agreed that Iran has the right to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with its international obligations. The sides call on Iran to comply with the provisions of the respective UN Security Council resolutions and extend full cooperation with the IAEA.

    Recovery and Strengthening of Global Economy, Reforming the International Financial Architecture
  • The Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation agreed that while a global economic recovery was discernible, it remained fragile, and characterized by wide disparities in the experiences of individual countries. To progress towards the shared goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth it is essential for G20 countries to fully implement the Seoul Action Plan adopted at the recent G20 summit. The sides welcomed the reform of the World Bank and reiterated their commitment to the successful completion of the reform of the International Monetary Fund as agreed to at the G-20 Seoul Summit which will be a significant achievement in the general reform of the international financial architecture.

    Countering Climate Change
  • The sides stressed the importance of enhancing international efforts to combat climate change under the aegis of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. They expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the Cancun Climate Conference and agreed that the post Cancun negotiations should be part of a comprehensive package covering all the pillars of the Bali Action Plan.
  • The Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation expressed satisfaction with the deepening engagement between the two countries, which they agreed was in keeping with the vision enunciated in the "Declaration of Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation" signed on 3 October 2000. They resolved to continue their efforts to shape and advance the India -Russia Privileged Strategic Partnership to an even higher qualitative level. The President of the Russian Federation extended an invitation to the Prime Minister of India to visit Russia for the next Summit; the invitation was accepted with pleasure.
New Delhi
December 21, 2010
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