Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that his visit to Moscow beginning on Sunday will be “another step forward” in consolidating India’s cooperation with Russia and in reinforcing the fact that the India-Russia strategic partnership is a “factor of peace and stability in the evolving international situation.”

On his sixth visit to Russia, the Prime Minister in his pre-departure statement noted that the Indo-Russian partnership was based on the “solid foundation” of long-standing friendship, deep mutual trust and strong convergence of interests. Over the years, India’s multifaceted cooperation with Russia had acquired greater depth and maturity through joint efforts. “We seek to strengthen these ties further,” Dr. Singh said.

The Prime Minister will be in Moscow for the annual summit, a key mechanism for the advancement of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

At the summit meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Dr. Singh expects to review the status of bilateral cooperation, including in the key areas of defence, civil nuclear energy, space, science and technology and hydrocarbons. “I will also exchange views with the President on key regional and global issues such as terrorism, recovery of the global economy, energy security, climate change, nuclear disarmament and reform of international institutions,” he said.

To meet Putin

During the visit, Dr. Singh will also meet Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, under whose Presidency the two countries had established the strategic partnership in 2000. Mr. Putin and Dr. Singh will jointly attend the closing ceremony of the Year of India in Russia.

PTI adds

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday left for a three-day visit to Russia during which the two sides are expected to sign a framework agreement on civil nuclear cooperation and three pacts in the field of defence.

In a statement here, Singh said he will review with President Dmitry Medvedev the status of bilateral cooperation, including in the key areas of defence, civil nuclear energy, space and hydrocarbons at the annual summit tomorrow.

“The Annual Summit is the principal mechanism for the advancement of our strategic partnership with Russia. This is a partnership based on the solid foundation of long-standing friendship, deep mutual trust and strong convergence of interests,” Singh said.

He noted that over the years, IndoRussian multifaceted cooperation has acquired greater depth and maturity through joint efforts. “We seek to strengthen these ties further.”

“I am confident that my visit will be yet another step forward in consolidating our cooperation with Russia and in reinforcing the fact that India-Russia strategic partnership is a factor of peace and stability in the evolving international situation,” he said.

Singh, who will be undertaking his sixth visit to Russia since 2004, said he will also meet Prime Minister Vladimir Putin under whose presidency the annual dialogue was set up.

Reflecting the depth of their cooperation in defence, India and Russia will sign three agreements in this key field, including one for ending adhocism in servicing Russian military equipment.

India also hopes to sign an Inter-Governmental framework agreement for cooperation in civil nuclear field.

During the summit-level talks, tough anti-terrorism steps, expansion of civil nuclear ties and defence cooperation and measures to give a boost to sluggish bilateral trade ties will be high on the agenda.

Singh and Medvedev will discuss the problem of terrorism emanating from Pakistan and Afghanistan amid India’s hopes that Russia, as a great power, could convince Islamabad not to use terror against New Delhi as an instrument of state policy.

Besides the agreement relating to After Sales Support that entails supplies of spare parts, etc, to the defence equipment procured from Russia, the other two pacts to be inked relates to Military Technical Cooperation and a pact on Supplement to Agreement on Multi-Role Transport Aircraft.

The problems over revised costs dogging the delivery of Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier is also expected to be taken up by Singh, who has voiced confidence of finding “practical solutions” to the vexed issue.

Two MoUs relating to Indian credit line and culture will also be initialled.

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