India on Saturday expressed appreciation of Russia’s “unequivocal condemnation” of the cross-border terror attack in Uri on September 18.
“Russia’s clear stand on need to combat terrorism mirrors our own. We deeply appreciate Russia’s understanding and support of our actions to fight cross border terrorism that threatens our entire region. We both affirmed the need for zero tolerance in dealing with terrorists and their supporters,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a joint media event with Russian President Vladimir Putin here.
The occasion saw the announcemnt of 16 agreements between the two countries and the two leaders pledging closer cooperation to prevent safe sanctuaries for terrorists in South Asia.
‘Russia understands India’s interest’ The Russian position on cross-border terrorism is significant, especially since it held a joint military exercise with Pakistan in the last week of September.
However, India has expressed the hope that Russia’s ties with Pakistan will “never” lead to anything that might be contrary to India’s interest. “Russia will never do anything that is not in the interest of our welfare. Russia understands India’s interest and will never do anything which is contrary to India’s interest,” Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said after the press meet..
''Terrorism is a global issue. The [country that is the] epicentre of terrorism is near India. But the actions of that country [Pakistan] is having global impacts. We agreed on the need to have an international legal framework on terrorism and better border management” said Mr. Jaishankar.
Earlier, Mr. Modi said, “An old friend is better than two new friends”, highlighting the “special and privileged strategic partnership” between India and Russia.
Mr. Modi announced defence deals with Russia that includes the purchase of the S-400 missile system, which can target multiple airborne objects simultaneously till a distance of 400 km and supply of Kamov K226T helicopters to India.
Both countries also signed an agreement on “information security” to fight online security threats.
Mr. Putin highlighted Russia’s “stable” approach to ties with India. He said his government would ensure steady energy cooperation with India to support the expanding Indian economy.
“Sometimes differences appear in some projects over a period due to currency devaluation. But we commit to maintain a steady approach to bilateral projects with India,” said Mr. Putin,.adding, “we are also working on joint development of Sukhoi super jets and passenger aircraft.”
Prior to the official statements, both the leaders laid the foundation for units three and four of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu.