New Delhi(DNA): Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday Russia will remain India’s top defence supplier, even though India’s options had improved.
Modi was speaking after talks with President Vladimir Putin aimed at revitalising ties that have focused on the import of defence equipment. Even in that area, India has increasingly turned to countries such as the United States and Israel for its military modernisation programme.
Russian and India also inked 16 agreements in areas of Petrol and Gas, Military training exchange, Nuclear energy, health research at Hyderabad House, to further boost cooperation between the two strategic partners.
Addressing the media after their meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “It is truly a great pleasure to welcome President Putin to India. I am honoured to host Putin in Delhi for the Annual Summit.
He further added, “President Putin is a leader of a great nation with which we have a friendship of unmatched mutual confidence, trust and goodwill.”
“Even as India’s options have increased today, Russia will remain our most important defence partner. We conducted joint exercises across all 3 wings in last 6 months. Russian and India discussed broad range of defence project and I am pleased that Russia has offered to fully manufacture in India one of its most advanced helicopters.”
The Prime Minister further added, “We have outlined an ambitious vision for nuclear energy of at least 10 more reactors. Energy security is critical, for India’s economic development and creating jobs. Russia is also a key partner in this area. Russia has offered to fully manufacture in India one of its most advanced helicopters, we will follow up on this quickly.”
Stating that our areas of priority for our cooperation include – combating terrorism and extremism, Modi added, ” Today we have made a new start with a few important agreements, I am sure we will reach new heights with new vigor.”
Russian President Putin said,” We are content with how this visit is being conducted and also with the outcome of the visit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I placed emphasis on trade and economic issues
Putin further added, “We had constructive talks on a whole gamut of issues. India and Russia encourage use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. “We are working on 20 nuclear power plant units for India. We had constructive talks on a whole gamut of issues.”
India and Russia also issued a joint statement called “Druzbha” (friendship).