The NDA government’s flagship “Make in India” programme is at the centre stage of the strategic relationship with Russia, as both countries decided to build nuclear reactor components and military helicopters in India.
Russia is the first country to take up the initiative under the “Make in India” umbrella in two key sectors — nuclear and defence.
Speaking on the inter-governmental agreement of the Kamov-226t helicopters, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar in a press beifinh said that it was only appropriate that Russia was the first country to be a part of the Make In India programme in the defence sector.
India and Russia on Thursday signed 16 agreements across various sectors — including the manufacturing of nuclear reactors, solar energy plants, railways and the first partnership in defence manufacturing — during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Russia.
S Jaishankar said that the defence and security facet made the bilateral ties between Russia and India unique, but also added that during the summit special attention was given to building economic ties.
“More than previous summits, a lot of attention was played in growing the economic foundations of our relationship.”
The Prime Minister visited Moscow for the India-Russia Summit - an event that is being held annually since 2000. The partnership this year focused to intensify synergy on defence, trade, hydrocarbons and nuclear energy.
“We saw a lot agreements in the field of energy. Important agreement has been signed on solar plant as well... some of it was new. Some of it was building up,” Jaishankar added.
Both Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed major international issues, “particularly the situation in the Middle East, much closer the challenges of terrorism, some of the issues perhaps closer to our neighbourhood”, and that both the leaders had similar views on the issues,” said Jaishankar.
The foreign secretary said that all apprehensions about Russia backing India’s place in the UNSC was put to rest when Putin stressed that Russia reaffirmed its ‘strong support to India’s candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed UNSC’.
Speaking on the inter-governmental agreement of the Kamov-226t helicopters, Jaishankar said that it was only appropriate that Russia was the first country to be a part of the Make In India programme in the defence sector.
On the energy sector, he said progress was made, and referred to the agreement on ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) acquiring 15% stakes in Rosneft’s Vankorneft oil fields, the second largest oil fields located in eastern Siberia, in Russia.
“There was also a Make in India version in the nuclear industry and an important agreement in solar energy” he said referring to the MoU between the Russian Energy Agency and the Solar Energy Corporation of India on the construction of solar power plants in India.
Stressing that the exploration and use of outer space should be for peaceful purposes, Russia and India reiterated that they were against weaponisation of outer space.
The statement said Russia and India were united by common interests in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their falling into the hands of terrorists, as well as in strengthening multilateral export control regimes.
“In this context, Russia welcomes India’s early accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime that would increase the effectiveness of this mechanism.”
Stressing that India should fully participate in the development of the norms of international export control regulation, the statement said Russia expressed its readiness to support India’s aspiration for full membership in the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and supported India’s interest in full membership in the Wassenaar Arrangement.
Both sides expressed a common understanding that the internal armed conflict in Syria cannot be solved by the use of force, but rather through political and diplomatic means -- through a substantive intra-Syrian dialogue without preconditions.
Russia and India welcomed the progress achieved in the area of security, including the maintenance of the ceasefire regime in south-eastern Ukraine, as well as the signing of the agreement on the withdrawal of military equipment and artillery of the less than 100 mm calibre from the line of contact.