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Under Medvedev-Putin, India policy to be more pragmatic

Russia's India policy under combined stewardship of new President Dmitry Medvedev and his mentor Vladimir Putin is expected to become more pragmatic.

world Updated: May 07, 2008 20:19 IST

Russia's India policy under combined stewardship of new President Dmitry Medvedev and his mentor Vladimir Putin is expected to become more pragmatic, filling the bilateral strategic partnership with greater economic content.

Kremlin sources recall Putin's statement at the CIS summit, who after Medvedev's election in March said Kremlin's foreign policy will not undergo any substantial change.

At the trilateral India-Russia-China ministerial meet in Yekaterinburg next week, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is said to be retaining his job in the next cabinet, is expected to give similar assurances to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, sources said.

They said it is expected that with the Medvedev-Putin tandem in power, the economic interaction with India will become more pragmatic in the sense that the business community would begin to feel the tangible results of strategic partnership worked out by the leadership of the two countries.

Despite a very high level of trust at the political and defence interaction, the Kremlin is not entirely happy with the current level of bilateral economic interaction.

Medvedev, who until recently was Chairman of the natural gas monopoly Gazprom, at one time had expressed Moscow's desire to develop "closest" energy partnership with India.

He, however, had underscored that India has to cover its part of the road towards this partnership, prompting Petroleum Minister Murli Deora to invite Russian energy majors for joining upstream and downstream energy projects in India.

With Medvedev continuing the policy of strategic partnership and Putin, set to be the next premier, effectively translating it into tangible economic projects of importance for both the countries, the Indo-Russian ties could achieve new heights, experts here say.