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Narendra Modi, Putin vow to take forward India-Russia ties

NEW DELHI(PTI): India and Russia on Friday discussed ways to enhance cooperation in the civil nuclear energy and hydrocarbon sector as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to take forward the special and privileged bilateral partnership.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Friday.

Mr. Modi and Mr. Putin, during a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit here, discussed a range of bilateral and multilateral issues of mutual concern.

“The two leaders discussed cooperation in civil nuclear energy, partnership in the gas and petrochemicals sector. They also discussed furthering cooperation in the space sector. Matters relating to trade and investment also came up,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

He said President Putin welcomed India signing the Memorandum of Obligations of SCO that has kick-started the process of India’s accession as into the powerful grouping as a “full member”.

India will have to sign around 30 other documents in the course of the year to complete the process for membership.

Pakistan is also being inducted into the SCO as a full member.

Mr. Putin said Russia was looking forward to India’s chairmanship of BRICS, adding it has grown in influence.

“President Putin said India is a special and privileged partner. There is long standing friendship between Russia and India. He welcomed India signing the Memorandum of Obligations of SCO and looked forward to India’s Chairmanship of BRICS, which has grown in influence,” said Mr. Swarup.

He said the Prime Minister thanked Russia for its support to India in SCO and said India as BRICS chair would keep up the momentum generated by Russia.

India has assumed chairmanship of the influential bloc BRICS comprising five countries having 42 per cent of the world population and combined GDP of over USD 16 trillion.

India will host the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-China-South Africa) summit later this year. Russia had the chairmanship of BRICS and it was passed onto India.

The 7th BRICS summit was held in the Russian city of Ufa on July 8-9 last year.

“Both leaders recalled old cultural connections and agreed to find ways of further invigorating cultural ties,” said Mr. Swarup.

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