Source Pravda.Ru

Economic reforms in India and Russia pave the way for bilateral cooperation

Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh said at a Friday seminar "Russian-Indian Strategic Partnership in the 21st Century" devoted to the forthcoming Russian-Indian summit in Delhi that economic reforms both in Russia and India paved the way for new bilateral cooperation.

According to Mr. Singh, the two countries have agreed to focus on cooperation in the energy field in the 21st century.

The Indian External Minister gave an example of Indian investment worth 1.7 bln U.S. dollars in the oil and gas extraction "Sakhalin-1" project. He also mentioned the construction of a nuclear power plant in Kudankulame.

Mr. Singh expressed the hope that both India and Russia would manage to raise bilateral trade from 1.4 bln U.S. dollars in 2001 to a higher level.

Cooperation between the countries in the defense area also has a great potential. The priority, the Indian Foreign Minister said, can be cooperation in the high-tech field.

Andrei Nikolayev, chairman of the Russian State Duma Defense Committee who also participated in the seminar said that it was really necessary to cooperate in scientific research and development, production and sales of modern weapons.

At present, Mr. Nikolayev stressed, military and technical cooperation between Russia and India covers three fields: delivery of spares, licensed production and joint development and sale of weapons.