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Russia remains India’s foremost defense partner: Modi

December 11
03:45 2014

PM holds talks to boost cooperation with sanctions-hit RussiaNEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday Russia will remain India’s top defense supplier, even though India’s options had improved.

Modi was speaking after talks with President Vladimir Putin aimed at revitalizing ties that have focused on the import of defense equipment. Even in that area, India has increasingly turned to countries such as the United States and Israel for its military modernization program.

Russia and India also inked 16 agreements in areas of Petrol and Gas, Military training exchange, Nuclear energy, health research at Hyderabad House, to further boost cooperation between the two strategic partners.

Addressing the media after their meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “It is truly a great pleasure to welcome President Putin to India. I am honored to host Putin in Delhi for the Annual Summit.
He further added, “President Putin is a leader of a great nation with which we have a friendship of unmatched mutual confidence, trust and goodwill. Russia has been India’s foremost defense partner through decades, Russia will remain to be so.”

“Even as India’s options have increased today, Russia will remain our most important defense partner. We conducted joint exercises across all 3 wings in last 6 months. Russian and India discussed broad range of defense project and I am pleased that Russia has offered to fully manufacture in India one of its most advanced helicopters.”

The Prime Minister further added, “We have outlined an ambitious vision for nuclear energy of at least 10 more reactors. Energy security is critical, for India’s economic development and creating jobs. Russia is also a key partner in this area. Russia has offered to fully manufacture in India one of its most advanced helicopters, we will follow up on this quickly.”

Stating that our areas of priority for our cooperation include – combating terrorism and extremism, Modi added, ” Today we have made a new start with a few important agreements, I am sure we will reach new heights with new vigor.”
Russian President Putin said,” We are content with how this visit is being conducted and also with the outcome of the visit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I placed emphasis on trade and economic issues

He further added, “We had constructive talks on a whole gamut of issues. India and Russia encourage use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. “We are working on 20 nuclear power plant units for India. We had constructive talks on a whole gamut of issues.”

India and Russia also issued a joint statement called “Druzbha” (friendship).-Agencies

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