Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh: President Vladimir Putin,
Media representatives, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to welcome His Excellency President Vladimir Putin to India for the 2012 India – Russia Annual Summit.
President Putin is a valued friend of India and the original architect of the India-Russia strategic partnership. I conveyed to President Putin our deep appreciation for his long-standing and personal commitment to this partnership.
This morning, we undertook an extensive review of our multi-faceted bilateral cooperation, especially in energy, defence, space, trade and investment, science and technology, education, culture and tourism. The documents signed during this visit will further strengthen the framework for our cooperation.
The development of our nuclear energy programme has been a key pillar of our strategic partnership. Construction of Unit 1 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is now complete, and power generation will commence shortly. India appreciates deeply the support extended by Russian engineers and scientists in this project. We look forward to the completion of Unit 2 next year.
Negotiations for the construction of Units 3 and 4 at Kudankulam have made good progress. We intend to continue implementing the Roadmap for cooperation in the nuclear energy sector that was signed during President Putin’s visit in 2010 as the then Prime Minister of Russia.
Our energy cooperation also extends to the oil and natural gas sectors. I conveyed to President Putin India’s interest in deepening cooperation in this area, including through mutual investments and joint projects in third countries.
Russia is a key partner in our efforts to modernise our armed forces and enhance our defence preparedness. A number of joint design, development and production projects are underway in high technology areas. We expressed satisfaction that these projects are progressing well.
I congratulated President Putin on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation. Russia’s deeper integration into the global economy will present more opportunities for the business communities in both countries. Our bilateral trade has grown by over 30% this year. There is still untapped potential in areas such as pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, mining, steel, information technology, civil aviation, telecommunications, infrastructure, food processing, innovation and services, which we will work to exploit. We have asked our intergovernmental and business level groups to recommend specific steps for enhancing bilateral trade and investment flows.
Our science and technology cooperation remains robust. President Putin and I welcomed the operationalisation of the India-Russia Joint Science and Technology Centres in India and Russia, which can assist the development and commercialisation of promising technologies, including in nanotechnology, biomedicine and super-computing. I particularly welcome the agreement on cooperation in using the GLONASS satellite navigation system that has just been signed.
We also discussed regional and global issues, on many of which there is a marked congruence in our approach. Our consultations in international fora, such as the UN Security Council and BRICS, have deepened during the year. I congratulated President Putin on Russia’s assumption of the Chair of G20. We look forward to working closely with Russia in promoting reform of global economic and international structures of governance.
India and Russia share the objective of a stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, free from extremism, terrorism and external interference. We reviewed the ongoing developments in Afghanistan, and agreed to work together against threats posed by extremist ideologies and drug trafficking. We also discussed the situation in West Asia, and agreed to continue consultations.
This year marks the sixty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Russia. We deeply value Russia’s steadfast friendship and support for India, unaffected by global developments. This relationship has a special place in the hearts and minds of Indians and India remains committed to further deepening it.
I once again extend a very warm welcome to President Putin and his delegation, and wish him and the people of Russia the very best for the New Year.
Thank you for your attention.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen,
Russia and India are bound by ties of strategic partnership. But I would note that this is a particular, trust-based partnership. I am very pleased that our strategic partner is achieving such outstanding results in its development.
The Indian economy’s rate of development is one of the highest and this is largely due to the efforts taken by Mr Singh’s government. This also gives us the opportunity to reach visible results in promoting our bilateral relations.
Today, we had a very constructive and substantive dialogue covering nearly every aspect of our cooperation. But even more important was the preliminary work done by our experts, who prepared this meeting. As a result of their joint efforts we could sign various documents and you witnessed the final phase of this work.
Such results confirm our mutual aspiration to promote all aspects of our political dialogue, trade, investment, scientific and technical cooperation and contacts in the humanitarian sector.
Over 65 years of diplomatic relations since signing the agreement on diplomatic ties, these relations have turned into a particularly privileged partnership. In 2011, our mutual trade was nearly 9 billion dollars. This year, we will likely reach 10 billion dollars and in the coming years we will double our turnover, setting the bar twice as high.
It is particularly important that the structure of Russian-Indian exports and imports is dominated by high-tech products – about 50 percent on each side. It is notable that this year, Russian supplies of machines, equipment, and chemical products to the Indian market grew by 40 percent.
We agreed to promote broadening investment cooperation. I am confident that the memorandum signed today between the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Bank of India will provide additional incentives for building mutually beneficial cooperation, including between small and medium-sized businesses. It is a matter of creating a good, truly functional mechanism for co-financing promising investment projects, which would dispose of approximatly one billion dollars.
Russia and India are implementing major energy projects. Indian companies are participating in the extraction of Russian oil and gas, including on Sakhalin island and in the Far East.
Mr Prime Minister already mentioned the successful cooperation of our nuclear energy specialists in building the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. Russian companies constructing thermal and hydroelectric power plans to meet the needs of the Indian economy. In August, Gazprom signed an agreement on supplying 2.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year for twenty years.
We are deepening our cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector. The Russian company PharmEco signed a memorandum today with Indian partners on jointly building a modern biotechnological plant to produce medicines. This involves about 100 million dollars in investments.
In 2014, SIBUR Holding intends to launch production of petrochemical products in the city of Jamnagar. The expected investment is 450 million dollars.
There are also good prospects in the heavy industries. Severstal is working on implementing an iron and steel works project in the state of Karnataka with an output capacity of 2 million tonnes. Capital investments are valued at 1.8 billion dollars.
We agreed to continue strengthening the traditions of close military technical cooperation between Russia and India, setting forward new projects, including creating joint production facilities and transferring technologies. The contracts to be signed today on supplying helicopter equipment and components for the licensed assembly of our Su-30 warcraft are an important step in this direction.
We have been developing our interregional ties intensively. Moscow, St Petersburg, Volgograd, Kazan, Astrakhan Region, Samara Region and Altai Territory are all cooperating with India most actively.
This year included an abundance of major humanitarian events. Among them were the Russian Culture Festival in India, the Days of Moscow in New Delhi, and the first Russian national festival of modern Indian film and culture.
It is in our common interests to see contacts develop more actively between the peoples of our countries. India is becoming an increasingly popular destination for our tourists, with 160,000 Russian visitors to your nation in 2012.
We had a detailed discussion of international affairs. I want to thank our Indian friends for supporting Russia in its accession to the World Trade Organisation. We traditionally give particular attention to our cooperation within the UN, BRICS, and the G20.
In conclusion, I want to thank Mr Prime Minister for the open and highly constructive dialogue that we had today. I am confident that the dialogue between India and Russia and the excellent quality of our relations will be maintained in the coming years – and not only maintained, but also developed for the good of the peoples of our countries.
Thank you very much.