Committed to take forward Indo-Russia relations to newer heights: Modi

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New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Ahead of his visit to Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that India is not only committed to accord the highest priority to the bilateral relations but also committed to taking them forward to newer heights.

“In India, the policy of building strong relations with Russia enjoys crosscutting national consensus. Every government in India since 1947 has accorded the highest priority to developing close relations with the government and people of Russia,” Modi said in an article published in Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazetta on the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Russia.

“My government is not only committed to following this policy, but taking our relations to newer heights,” he added.

Noting that the two countries signed a declaration on strategic Partnership in 2010 and elevated it to the level of a special and privileged strategic partnership, he said: “These documents are more than just words. They contain an ambitious blueprint for our cooperation.

“The symbols of our contemporary partnership today include Indian investments in Sakhalin 1, and now the Vankor and Taas-Yuryakh oil fields, the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam and the Brahmos Joint Venture Project,” Modi said.

Modi also said that both the countries cannot and should not be satisfied with the achievements and must strive to open new vistas.

“We should fully exploit our mutual complementarities based on our large markets, resource endowments and industrial and technological base. We are focusing on increasing our bilateral trade which is considerably below our potential. We are opening new areas of cooperation in the energy sector, telecommunications and science and technology. We have set up funds to facilitate investment in high technologies,” he said.

Modi also said that the “natural” Indian-Russian partnership’s significance goes beyond the bilateral sphere.

“This is natural and has always been so. Our partnership has contributed to global peace and security. We have supported each other’s key interests. We are important stakeholders in upholding the stability of the international political, security, economic and financial order.

“We cooperate closely in forums such as the United Nations, BRICS, G-20, East Asia Summit, RIC and the IAEA. India looks forward to becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation that became possible with wholehearted Russian support,” he said.

–IANS

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