Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin with the highlight of their engagement being the conclusion of the general framework agreement and credit protocol for two additional nuclear reactors at Kudankulam.
Moscow had been pushing Delhi to sign the agreement for the past eight months, with Russia's deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin specifically taking up the issue with Modi in a meeting ahead of the summit. Russian officials described the conclusion of the agreement as the biggest takeaway from the summit.
The agreement had missed two deadlines earlier. Modi said finalisation of the agreement would deepen cooperation in civil nuclear energy between the two countries. A part from the agreement for Kudankulam 5 and 6 reactor units, the two countries signed four other agreements. The two countries strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations in a joint declaration and stressed that there could be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons.
“Together, we will continue efforts to combat international terrorism, which poses a great threat to the maintenance of peace and security. We are convinced that the unprecedented spread of this threat requires a decisive collective response on the part of the entire global community, without double standards and selectivity , in accordance with international law and the UN Charter,“ said the declaration.
Modi also invited Russian companies to partner Indian firms in setting up manufacturing facilities to make high-tech defence equipment in India. Addressing CEOs of the two countries after the annual bilateral summit, Modi said India had last month approved a policy to allow local private companies to work with foreign players to manufacture defence equipment in a bid to cut reliance on imports.
President Vladimir Putin asserted that Russia's “trust-based“ relations with India, which he described as one of its “closest friends“, would not be diluted by Moscow's growing ties with Pakistan and other countries. Putin said that there is no other country in the world that Russia has “deep cooperation“ with in delicate areas such as missiles, and it benefits from cooperation with India.
But at the same time, Putin sidestepped a question on Kashmir, and said “it is up to you“ to assess whether Pakistan is fuelling terrorism in the Indian state. “But no matter where the threat comes, it is unacceptable and we will always support India in its fight against terrorism,“ he added.
Putin further said that just because Russia has a “special relationship“ with India, it means India should be restricted in having contacts with other “partnering countries.This is ridiculous.“ “We do not have any tight (military) relations with Pakistan. The US, do you have (close relations)?,“ he said, speaking through an interpreter.“And for sure our relations with Pakistan have no impact on trade between India and Russia.“