A day ahead of talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, External Affairs minister SM Krishna on Monday said India and Russia will discuss their common concerns about terrorism emanating from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and expand their cooperation in combating terrorism.
"The discussions on international issues will include the situation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region that impacts the security of both India and Russia," Krishna said in an interview to Russian news agencies hours before Medvedev touches down on a two-day visit.
"We need to understand why terrorist infrastructure in the region has continued to survive despite the best efforts of the international community," he said.
"Both India and Russia share common concerns about the threat posed by terrorism emanating from our shared neighbourhood, ie Afghanistan and Pakistan radiating into the region, including Central Asia, as also to Russia," Krishna replied when asked about prospects of expanded cooperation between the two countries in combating terrorism.
"We are also aware of the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorist financing. We have an ongoing multi-layered dialogue mechanism with Russia through which we seek to exchange views and information on these issues," he said.
Krishna added that the two sides will discuss the expansion of the United Nations Security Council, in both permanent and non-permanent categories and stressed that it "is an important item in the ongoing discussions taking place on reforms of global governance structures that were created in the 20th Century, so that they are capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st Century."
Underlining time-tested ties between the two countries, Krishna said India was "keen to establish a strategic energy partnership with Russia, based on nuclear energy and oil and gas, that will further the energy security interests of both countries".
"Economic modernization in Russia and the economic transformation in India have thrown up tremendous opportunities for both countries that must be explored," he said while calling for "an innovation-based technology partnership" between the two countries.
India and Russia are set to sign around 15 agreements, including key pacts on jointly producing a multi-billion dollar jet fighter and Moscow's plans to build more nuclear reactors in India, after the leaders of the two sides hold talks here Tuesday.
Manmohan Singh and Medvedev will discuss a wide range of bilateral and international issues, including the expansion of civil nuclear cooperation, the intensification of bilateral economic ties, global terrorism and the international financial crisis.
The Russian leader will go to Agra and Mumbai Wednesday. In Mumbai, Medvedev will stay at The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, one of the main targets of the Nov 26-29, 2008 terror attack, and pay homage to the victims of the carnage. He will also go to Film City, where he will interact with Bollywood stars.