India and Russia are against "outside influence" in the internal matters of any nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday after comprehensive talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed at finding new horizons of bilateral cooperation in key areas like defence, space, trade, oil and gas, nuclear energy and maritime connectivity.
Modi, who arrived in Russia on a two-day visit, is the first Indian prime minister to visit to the Russian Far East Region.
"We both are against outside influence in the internal matters of any nation," Modi said in a joint press meet with Putin after their delegation-level talks at the India-Russia 20th Annual Summit following a two-hour tete-a-tete on board a ship.
His remarks without naming any country came against the backdrop of tension between India and Pakistan after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality. Pakistan is trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India's decision on August 5.
Russia has backed India's move on Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the changes in the status are within the framework of the Indian Constitution.
Briefing the media later, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said Prime Minister Modi explained to President Putin the rationale behind the decision and Russia stands firmly behind India on the issue.
A joint statement issued later said the two sides "underlined the primacy of international law and emphasised their commitment to the purposes and the principles stated in the UN Charter including the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of member states."
The two sides signed 15 agreements/MoUs in areas such as defence, air, and maritime connectivity, energy, natural gas, petroleum and trade.
"Today's talks with President Putin were aimed at finding new horizons of India-Russia cooperation. This includes opportunities in trade, security, maritime cooperation and working together to protect the environment," Modi said.
He said a proposal has been made to have a full fledged maritime route between Chennai and Vladivostok.
The statement said the two leaders "agreed to facilitate, in all possible ways, exploring the impressive potential of our strategic partnership to the full, demonstrating its special and privileged nature which has emerged as an anchor of stability in a complex international situation."
The two sides "prioritise strong, multifaceted trade and economic cooperation as the foundation for further expanding the range of India-Russia relations," it added.
The two leaders decided to take the bilateral trade from the current USD 11 billion to USD 30 billion by 2025.
The two sides noted the pace of progress achieved in the construction of the remaining four of the six nuclear power plants at Kudankulam.
Modi said Russia will help train Indian astronauts for the manned space mission - Gaganyaan.
Noting that close cooperation in military-technical fields is a pillar of Indo-Russia Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership, the statement said the two sides vowed to upgrade their defence cooperation, including by fostering joint development and production of military equipment, components and spare parts.
They shared the view that "implementation in good faith of universally recognised principles and rules of international law excludes the practice of double standards or imposition of some States of their will on other States."
They called for reform of the UN Security Council to reflect contemporary global realities. Russia expressed its support for India's candidacy for a permanent membership of the UNSC.
"The sides intend to focus particularly on increasing the effectiveness of countering terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, cross-border organised crime, and information security threats, in particular by improving the functionality of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure," the statement said.
The two leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and called on the international community to set up a united front to fight against this evil.
"They insisted on the inadmissibility of double standards in countering terrorism and extremism, as well as of the use of terrorist groups for political ends," the statement said.
Both sides expressed concern over the possibility of an arms race in outer space and advocated peaceful uses of outer space.
They reiterated their commitment to further strengthen global non-proliferation. Russia expressed its strong support for India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The two sides expressed their support for an inclusive peace and Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation in Afghanistan.
They reaffirmed their commitment to building an equal and indivisible security architecture in Asia and the Pacific region.
On his part, Putin said India is one of the key partners of Russia.
Underlining the Indo-Russia cooperation in technical and military areas, he said, "We are successfully implementing our bilateral programme on military and technical cooperation up to 2020. We are working to update it to extend to another 10 years."
Joint production of Kalashnikov rifles will bring Russia-India ties to new level
The launch of a Russian-Indian joint venture for manufacturing AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles in India will bring bilateral cooperation in military and technical area to a new level, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday.
Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited is a rifle-manufacturing facility in Korwa, Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. It is a joint venture between the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) on the Indian side, and Rosonboron Exports and Concern Kalashnikov on the Russian side.
The factory manufactures the AK-203 variant of the famous Kalashnikov family of rifles. The rifles will will strengthen India's security forces.
"As far as a joint venture on producing the AK-203 is concerned, it will enable us to bring our cooperation in the defence area beyond the narrow framework and create a reliable basis for developing our joint production," Modi said after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
Modi also noted that the deal on establishing a joint venture with Russia on producing components for military equipment in India will encourage India's industrial development.
"President Putin and I have raised our relations to a new level of cooperation based on trust and partnership and we have managed to ensure both a quantitative and qualitative leap forward in our achievements," he was quoted as saying by Russia's official Tass news agency.
The OFB owns 50.5 per cent equity and Russian side the remaining 49.5 per cent in the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited. The JV is formed consequent to the Inter-governmental Agreement signed between India and Russia in February 2019.
Putin takes Modi around cultural exhibition, talks about his passion for sports
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday took Prime Minister Narendra Modi around a vibrant cultural exhibition here and told the Indian leader about his interest in sports.
Prime Minister Modi accompanied by President Putin visited the ‘Street of the Far East’ exhibition capturing the warm culture of the eastern coast.
Modi in a tweet thanked his "friend" Putin for taking him around the exhibition.
"Got glimpses of the vibrant culture of the Russian," he said.
"This brief conversation shows his passion towards sports, even those popular in India," Modi tweeted.
"Russian Far East opened its arms to Indians decades ago boosting people-to-people ties between the two countries," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
The Russian president on Thursday will take Modi to a stadium to watch an international judo tournament during which the two leaders are likely to have a chat with the participants, including a six-member team from India.