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No nuclear liability agreement yet

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… familiar with the negotiations.

Prime Minister Singh has attended 10 summits since the annual event began in 2000, and officials described his personal rapport with President Putin as excellent.

Both countries, officials said, share similar views on important international issues such as the crisis in West Asia and Afghanistan.

On Afghanistan, Indian officials said, the two countries were in regular consultations along with other members of the international community, as Russia was as interested as India in seeing that Afghanistan does not go back to being a source for extremism, terrorism and radicalism after the US military drawdown.

‘Long history of cooperation’

“It affects the Russians, it affects us. We have a long history of cooperation on this, of working with each other and other friends in the international community to prevent this from happening,” said one official.

The Indian side is evidently hoping that the “fundamental commonality” on this issue between New Delhi and Moscow will send a strong message to Pakistan that it cannot claim ownership over Afghanistan post-2014.

Though both India and Russia have opted not to get involved militarily in Afghanistan, said the official, “that doesn’t mean we don’t work with the Afghans, or that we don’t deal with what comes out of Afghanistan. We do that together, and we co-ordinate very closely. And it works. It has been working well in the past and will work in the future as well”.

China too has the same goal, and the trilateral India-China-Russia discussion in February this year underlined that, the official said.

Despite what observers have described as New Delhi’s pro-American tilt, Indian officials were also keen to point out that there had been a convergence of views between India and Russia on Syria. Like Russia, India was also of the view that there could be no military solution in that country, and it was up to the Syrians to decide who rules them.

Correction

An entry in the graphic that accompanied the report, “No nuclear liability agreement yet” (Oct. 21, 2013), read: Agreement allows Indians convicted in Russia to serve out their sentences in Russia and vice versa. It should have been India and vice versa.

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