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India, Russia sign 16 agreements on sidelines of BRICS summit

<p style="outline: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; color: #3b3a39; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-size: 14px;">India on Saturday expressed appreciation for Russia’s “unequivocal condemnation” of the cross-border terror attack in Uri on September 18. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the media on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Goa and announced 16 agreements between the two countries. They also pledged closer cooperation to prevent safe sanctuaries for terrorists in South Asia.

<p style="outline: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; color: #3b3a39; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-size: 14px;">“Russia’s clear stand on the 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,” Mr. Modi said in his speech during the summit.

<p style="outline: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; color: #3b3a39; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-size: 14px;">‘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 expressed hope that Russia’s ties with Pakistan will “never” lead to anything that might be contrary to India’s interest.

<p style="outline: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; color: #3b3a39; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-size: 14px;">“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.

<p style="outline: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; color: #3b3a39; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-size: 14px;">The 17th bilateral summit also saw India express its commitment to ties with Moscow. Mr. Modi, said, “An old friend is better than two new friends”, highlighting the “special and privileged strategic partnership” between India and Russia. The summit also saw both Mr. Modi and Mr. Putin discuss ways to prevent “safe havens” for terrorism .

<p style="outline: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; color: #3b3a39; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-size: 14px;">“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.

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Defence deals

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The summit also witnessed India acquire the S-400 missile system which can target multiple airborne objects simultaneously till a distance of four hundred kilometres. Russia also signed the deal to supply K226T helicopters to India.

<p style="outline: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; color: #3b3a39; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-size: 14px;">Both countries signed an agreement on “information security” to fight online security threats.

<p style="outline: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; color: #3b3a39; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-size: 14px;">In his statement, Mr. Putin highlighted Russia’s “stable” approach to ties with India and said his government will ensure steady energy cooperation with India to support the expanding Indian economy.

<p style="outline: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; color: #3b3a39; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-size: 14px;">“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. He added, “we are working on joint development of Sukhoi super jets and passenger aircrafts.”

<p style="outline: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px; color: #3b3a39; font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-size: 14px;">Prior to the official statements, both the leaders laid the foundation for units three and four of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

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Agencies

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