Modi meets Russian PM, stresses strong ties

  • Agencies, Nay Pyi Taw
  • Updated: Nov 13, 2014 11:40 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday, calling for greater cooperation between their states and regions.

On day three of his visit to Myanmar, Modi met Medvedev ahead of next month's annual Indo-Russia summit. The Indian PM recalled his visit to Russia in 2001 and told the him "Am sure India-Russia ties will be strengthened", according to tweets posted by the Prime Minister's Office.

(L-R) Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, China's Premier Li Keqiang, Myanmar's President Thein Sein, US President Barack Obama, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev pose for a photo before the East Asia Summit (EAS) plenary session during the ASEAN Summit in Naypyitaw. (Reuters photo)

Modi's meeting with the Russian leader was his first diplomatic engagement on the third day of his 10-day three-nation tour of Myanmar, Australia and Fiji on the sidelines of the two back-to-back India-ASEAN and East Asia summits in Nay Pyi Taw.

The Russian Prime Minister conveyed that India was a "close and valued partner for us" during the meeting at the Myanmar International Conference Centre. On the extent of Russia-India relations, Medvedev said: "There are many areas where we are cooperating".

In response, Modi said he was confident that the ties between the two countries will be strengthened.

During their conversation, Modi also spoke on the need for the federal units - states and regions of the two countries to cooperate more, a view which Medvedev endorsed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is travelling to New Delhi next month for the 15th annual India-Russia summit.

Modi, during his first meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brazil in July, favoured broadening India's strategic partnership with Russia in nuclear, defence and energy sectors.

He had also invited Putin to visit Kudankulam atomic power project during his trip for the annual summit.

A tweet posted by external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, "Our federal units (states/regions) need to cooperate more - PM @narendramodi pitch reasonates with Russian PM Medvedev."

Modi later posed for photographs with world leaders at the East Asia Summit.

Modi was also seen laughing and chatting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines before they proceeded to attend the EAS here, an MEA tweet showed.

Modi, Abbott and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key posed for a photo together.

Modi keen on Malaysian model of performance assessment

As part of his endeavour to constantly evaluate the performance of his government, Modi is taking a cue from the Malaysian model, calling it an "excellent example".

During his meeting with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak Wednesday, Modi said he was greatly impressed by the performance assessment mechanism that is in place in the southeast Asian country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reads a document as he attends the East Asia Summit Plenary Session at the Myanmar International Convention Center Naypyidaw. (AFP photo)

Modi told Razak that he had had discussions on this subject with some Malaysian officials who had worked on it, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.

The PM said that this was an excellent example of how monitoring of performance is done. But he said Malaysia is more than only governance reform.

While this was governance reform, Modi also felt that Malaysia has been open for economic reforms and he felt that both Malaysia and India could work together in areas like housing.

Modi said public housing was a major focus of the new Indian government which plans to go for large scale public housing by 2022. And he felt that Malaysian companies who had expertise in these would be welcome specifically in public housing projects.

To keep the government departments on their toes and deliver on the BJP's poll promise to bring "achchhe Din" (good days), the PM is understood to be keen on revamping the Performance Management and Evaluation System (PMES), currently run by a division at the Union government's cabinet secretariat.

Razak set up the Performance Management and Delivery Unit, commonly known as PEMANDU, in his office in September 2009, just a few months after taking over.

PEMANDU oversees implementation, assesses progress, facilitates and supports delivery and drives progress of the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme launched by Razak, who heads the unit as its chairman.

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