President Vladimir Putin: Ladies and Gentlemen!
I am very glad to receive our distinguished guest – President of India, our good friend Dr. Abdul Kalam in Moscow. Mr. President is for the first time in this country as head of state. We hope this visit will become a significant even in relations between our two states and will open new opportunities for developing Russian-Indian multidimensional cooperation.
India is one of Russia’s key partners in the Asian-Pacific region. We are interested in increasing the level and scope of our interaction in different spheres. We believe we have all the necessary conditions for that.
At the current talks we have discussed a broad range of bilateral issues and exchanged opinions on the main problems of international politics. In our common view, Russian-Indian relations are developing steadily today, becoming increasingly substantial and dynamic.
In the sphere of economic cooperation the discussion centred first of all on such priority areas for our interaction as energy, space, the steel industry, railway and water transport, information technologies.
We have noted a significant progress in the implementation of a number of major joint projects, including the construction of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant with Russia's participation. Let me recall that the first unit is due to be put into operation in 2007, and everything progresses as scheduled. On January 15, India received the first nuclear reactor, produced at the Izhora plant in St. Petersburg.
Investment cooperation is increasing. We have come to an agreement on large investment of the Indian Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in the Sakhalin 1 oil production project. There are other possible plans of joint work in this sphere.
One of the centerpieces of the meeting was ensuring stability in Eurasia and the world in general. Our states have consistently advocated the formation of a just world order. It should be based on the norms of international law, principles of mutual respect and consideration of each other’s interests. All issues arising in relations between countries, whether large or small, should be settled in a dialog, without dictate or outside interference.
We agree that it is necessary to unite efforts of all countries to fight against global and regional threats. In order to unite efforts against these threats India and Russia intend to actively develop cooperation within international organizations.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Mr. President for coming to Russia and for taking such a representative team with him. I would like to thank him for the confidential and constructive dialog we had today. I am positive that we have made another serious step in developing our bilateral relations.
Abdul Kalam: Thank you, Mr. Putin.
I regard my visit to your country as a very important event. After your visit to India in December, our Prime Minister arrived in Russia to attend the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.
My visit to the Russian Federation promotes our friendship in different spheres.
I am content with today’s meeting with President Putin and the extended conference with all members of both sides’ delegations. We discussed our cooperation in the energy sector. This sector has good prospects, particularly, our investments in the Sakhalin-1 and in the future Sakhalin-3 projects. Our fruitful cooperation in the nuclear energy sphere is promising as well.
President Putin and I agree that it is necessary to increase our trade turnover. Our countries have a possibility to raise it by $25 billion in several years.
We also discussed our cooperation in science and technologies. Russia and India have a comprehensive long-term program of cooperation in this field. Today we considered future stages of our cooperation, particularly, direct links between laboratories and scientists in advanced scientific branches.
Yesterday I met with academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences and industrialists. I attended a number of laboratories in Moscow. I felt at home in the Russian Academy of Sciences because I am well acquainted with some academics. It was a great privilege for me to become an honorary professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Academy hosted an important discussion of the ways to develop and promote cooperation in the sphere of science and technologies. We should establish direct contacts between Russian and Indian laboratories and work in the field of advanced sciences. We outlined four trends of our joint work. India will render full support to these activities.
I also met with experts in Indian studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies and held talks with the Institute’s head, Professor Rybakov. I was informed about active promotion of Indian languages in Russia and learned that some Indian books had been translated into Russian 200 years ago. On our part, we promised to present the Institute with 5,000 Indian books in electronic versions.
I also visited Moscow State University and met with students and teachers. They asked me many questions. I learned that Moscow State University had put in orbit a satellite created by its professors and students. An Indian university also intends to launch a micro-satellite.
Moreover, I attended a number of design bureaus. You know of the BrahMos project. This joint venture is very successful. I believe we can develop further cooperation in this sphere.
Russia and India are good friends. I envisage our joint future economic prosperity, cultural links and technological cooperation.