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Russia to launch production of modern weapons under India's 'Made in India' programme | KEY POINTS

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he and Jaishankar agreed to expand the legal framework of India-Russia relations and expressed support for India's permanent UNSC membership. They also spoke about international issues like the conflict in Ukraine, Gaza and the Indo-Pacific.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Moscow Updated on: December 27, 2023 20:48 IST
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with his Russian
Image Source : PTI External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday expressed Moscow's willingness to lend support to India's initiative to produce military products under its flagship 'Made in India' programme, during a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Moscow earlier today. The meeting underlined several steps to expand cooperation between the countries, including the launch of the North-South International Transport Corridor and the Chennai Vladivostok route.

He further said that Russia is ready to launch the production of defense items as part of the Make in India programme, noting "concrete progress" in the "outlook for military-technical cooperation", including joint production of modern weapons. "We have also discussed the prospects of military and technical cooperation, including the joint production of modern weaponry. We also have specific steps in the area. Our cooperation is of strategic nature, strengthening it corresponds to the national interests of states, the interests of Security in the Eurasian continent," said Lavrov during a press conference after he met with Jaishankar, who is on a five-day visit to Russia.

The Russian Foreign Minister said that he and Jaishankar agreed to expand the legal framework of India-Russia relations, particularly in accelerating efforts for the adoption of the agreement on mutual protection of investment. He said that the meeting confirmed that India-Russia ties are based on the confidential nature of mutual respect and are not subject to any political frameworks.

"We are respectful of the aspiration of our Indian colleagues to diversify their military and technical links. We also understand and hence we are ready to support their initiative to produce military products as part of the 'Made in India' program. We stand ready to cooperate in this area. We have reaffirmed our aspiration to strengthen energy cooperation," he said further.

Russia supports India's UNSC permanent membership

Lavrov also expressed Russia's support for India's permanent membership in the UN Security Council. "We have taken note of our multilateral cooperation. At the UN, Russia supports the Indian aspiration to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council," Lavrov said during the press briefing.

The Russian minister hailed the G20 Summit held under India's presidency in New Delhi as a triumph for Indian foreign policy as well as multilateral diplomacy. "It didn't allow the final communique to be one-sided, it reflects the perfect balance of interest...This is an example of how G20 and other groups should be working and...this includes the UN and the Security Council," he said.

Lavrov further remarked that the New Delhi Declaration in September this year perfectly reflected the balance of interest of global powers.


Further outlining cooperation between India and Russia, Lavrov said that both countries are interested in having an open and fair political and economic system for everyone, noting that the agreements between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin have laid the foundation for a reliable relationship for the two nations. "Our relationship is very long and very good and it's good to see they are moving consistently in the present moment. We have a reliable partnership and it's been confirmed by our bilateral relations based on the agreements by Prime Minister Modi and President Putin," Lavrov said.

He further asserted that India and Russia share common principles of respect for the United Nations and the leaders of both countries look forward to making sure that the decisions of the authorities are complied with as efficiently as possible. The Russian minister also underscored the close cooperation between foreign ministries, the Security Council and other ministries.

India-EaEu FTA negotiations to resume

Meanwhile, EAM Jaishankar said that the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between India and the Eurasian Economic Union will resume in January next year. The Eurasian Economic Union is an economic union of five post-Soviet states located in Eurasia, including Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

“We have had a very good session of talks and today, what really came out was India-Russia relationship remains very steady, very strong. They are based on strategic convergence on geopolitical interests and because they are mutually beneficial,” Jaishankar said at the press briefing with Lavrov.

The two ministers discussed political cooperation concerning several international issues including international organisations like BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The EAM also underlined that India-Russia trade is at an all-time high, crossing $50 billion last year. 

"We are today, in our trade, energy, fertilizers, cooking coal are very big components of that. How do we reach long-term arrangements in that regard was a big part of our discussion. We discussed mutual investments, the need to progress on a bilateral investment treaty. We spoke about railways yesterday, about industrial zone infrastructure," he added. 

Energy cooperation and connectivity

Jaishankar also announced that New Delhi is looking to expand its investments in oil and gas in which the two countries enjoy a very substantial relationship. This came after India and Russia signed an agreement on power-generating units in Tamil Nadu's Kudankulam nuclear power plant, which is being built with the help of Moscow.

“On energy, today we have a very substantial relationship both in terms of Indian investments in Russia in oil and gas which we are seeking to expand. Also in nuclear, yesterday we signed two important amendments which will take the Kudankulam nuclear power project forward,” Jaishankar said.

"We also spoke about connectivity; connectivity from western India through the International North-South Transport Corridor. Also connectivity from eastern India, from Chennai to Vladivostok and the polar route. We discussed various related areas where India's polar capabilities could be enhanced in collaboration with Russia. On civil aviation and tourism, was also a subject of discussion. We would like to see more Russian tourists in India. We have increased the number of flights from India every week, from 52 to 64. We are open to increasing it further," said the EAM.

The two leaders also spoke about international issues like the conflict in Ukraine, Gaza, the Indo-Pacific, ASEAN, Afghanistan and UN-related matters. "We also touched upon other regional topics, such as the situation in the Asia-Pacific Region in the context of the processes unfolding there in parallel, and even, perhaps, contrary to the agreements which were previously reached within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations," Lavrov said as quoted by TASS news agency.

India, Russia share 'very strong, very steady' relations: Jaishankar

In his opening remarks, he told Lavrov that the relationship between India and Russia has been "very strong, very steady" and PM Modi and Putin had been in frequent contact.

"We have seen different expressions of our cooperation this year, some of which you have noted. I would also mention our presence at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, at the Far Eastern Economic Forum at the Vladivostok at the meetings and on the bilateral, the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission, which I co-chair with Deputy PM Manturov. We have been meeting. I met him yesterday. We are very glad to seek continued progress," he added.

He said that India expects a strong Russian partnership at the vibrant Gujarat meeting in January. Jaishankar said he and Lavrov will discuss the international strategic situation, conflicts and tensions. Meanwhile, Lavrov noted that the ties between Russia and India have been "good and long." He emphasised that the two nations have a "reliable partnership."

(with inputs from ANI)

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