Describing as "important" the strong and united stand world leaders adopted against terrorism at their summit in St Petersburg, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said it would reinforce international commitment to eliminate the major threat to civilised global order.
"We consider very important that the St Petersburg Summit resulted in a strong and united stand against international terrorism that would reinforce the commitment of all present to work together to eliminate this major threat to a civilized global order," Singh said in an interview to Russia's Interfax news agency.
He was asked which issues were the most important for India in the meeting with leaders of the G-8 countries in St Petersburg.
"For India this is particularly relevant, as we have once again become the targets of terrorist violence - in Mumbai and in Srinagar on July 11, 2006," the Prime Minister said.
World leaders at the Group of Eight summit on Monday expressed outrage over the "barbaric" Mumbai blasts and condemned the perepetrators and sponsors of terrorist acts.
Asked about the kind of contribution India is ready to make in developing themes such as energy security, Singh said "we expect a balanced outcome that would reflect the interests of both producers and consumers. There is a need to think of ways to enhance stability and predictability of the energy market".
Asked about trade-economic and investment cooperation between India and Russia including in the fields of energy and diamonds, he said "the economic pillar of our strategic relationship needs attention, as at present it is not as strong as it should be. Our economy has registered good growth rates in recent years and so has the Russian economy."
"This should be reflected in the quality of our bilateral economic relations. Our annual trade turnover currently stands at around $2-3 billion, which is far below the potential of both the Indian and Russian economies. We hope to raise the level of bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2010," he said.
Stressing that energy is key to transforming economic relationship with Russia, he said Moscow is one of the largest producers of energy and India is one of the largest consumers.
"We have invested a couple of billion dollars in Sakhalin-I and we are willing to invest more if opportunities are available. There is unlimited potential for India and Russia, as excellent political partners, to develop a strong energy partnership."
"Civilian nuclear power projects offer large possibilities once the necessary political issues are resolved. Russian investments in Indian infrastructure development are welcome," he said adding something should be done quickly to ease business travel between the two countries, as current visa procedures appear to be an obstacle to developing business-to-business contacts.
"Both sides wish to expand further this defence cooperation beyond a buyer-seller relationship to joint research, design, development, production and marketing as well as closer military-to-military ties," he said adding the "Brahmos missile is a fine example of what can be achieved by working jointly".
Asked about the perspectives for mutual cooperation in the India-Russia-China format, he said "India, Russia and China need greater coordination and common understanding in meeting challenges. The most important is the fight against terrorism and religious extremism, and drug trafficking and trans-border crimes, which also have linkages to the problem of terrorism."
On Russia's support for India's quest for gaining the status of permanent member of the UNSC as well as for the candidature of Shashi Tharoor, he said "in view of his (Tharoor's) impeccable credentials and our traditionally close relations with Russia, we naturally expect Russia's wholehearted support for his candidature".
Talking about UN reforms he said "there is no question that the UN needs to be reformed. We support broad-based UN reforms but are convinced that unless the structure of the Security Council is changed to reflect contemporary global realities, any UN reform would be inadequate and incomplete."
Maintaining the world of 2005 cannot be effectively served by an institution forged in 1945, he said short term considerations should not stand in the way of the compelling need for reform.