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Relations with Russia unique and special- India
October 2, 2013, 5:26 pm

Moscow and New Delhi are traditional partners in various areas, including trade, military cooperation, culture and education [AP]

Moscow and New Delhi are traditional partners in various areas, including trade, military cooperation, culture and education [AP]

Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov met his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid in Moscow on Wednesday.

Khurshid, who is on a three day visit to Russia, discussed the situation in the Middle East and in Northern Africa with Lavrov.

Indian an Russian cooperation within BRICS and the ministerial meeting of the RIC (Russia, India, China) group were also discussed during the talks.

Lavrov announced that Russia will back India’s accession to the permanent membership of the strategic security bloc the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

India is currently an observer at the SCO.

Both the foreign ministers concluded that the situation in the Middle East and a post-NATO Afghanistan have direct bearings on the national interests of Russia and India.

India lauded Russia’s involvement in international efforts to diffuse tensions in Syria, stressing on its decisive role in preserving peace in the troubled country.

“We believe in your [Lavrov’s] role and the role of President Vladimir Putin in peacekeeping and security efforts. Peace has been preserved thanks to Russia’s involvement, while others lost hope,” Khurshid was quoted by Interfax as saying.

“Our relations are unique and special,” Khurshid said.

The two BRICS partners are also set to discuss the preparations for the Russia-India forum that will be held later this month.

“We are happy to continue our extensive political dialogue. We develop our ties in various spheres on a daily basis, which strengthens our strategic partnership,” Lavrov said.

Moscow and New Delhi are traditional partners in various areas, including trade, military cooperation, culture and education.

During his visit, Khurshid as co-chairman of the Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation will inaugurate its 19th session.

Khurshid had earlier clarified that any defence initiatives of India with the US is not at the expense of those with Russia.

“Everybody knows that we have to diversify and expand. But we do not do this at the cost of traditional friend of ours. There is massive co-operation between India and Russia, which continues apace,” the minister said, adding “that is not going to be affected”. He pointed out that Russia too deals with the US.

In 2012, at the 18th session, the joint commission mapped out projects in energy, metallurgy, mining, chemical, lapidary, pharmaceutical, automotive segments, bio-medical, nano, information and telecommunication technologies, banking and financial services, science and technology, as well as tourism.

This year the body will focus on investment projects, according to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

“The seventh Russia-India Forum on trade and investment held in St Petersburg on September 20 attracted over 100 delegates, including the heads of leading Russian and Indian companies, and boosted the promotion of bilateral cooperation in all these spheres,” Lukashevich noted.

Since 2000 bilateral trade between Russia and India increased six fold.

In 2012 trade turnover reached a record high – $11 billion, against $8.9 billion in 2011.

While in 2013, according to preliminary estimates, there could be a new best – with trade volumes exceeding the levels of 2012.

Daria Chernyshova in Moscow with inputs from Agencies for The BRICS Post

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