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India-Russia to write a fresh chapter of friendship

With India and Russia ready to script new chapter of friendship, geo-political situation in South Asia is going to witness a major change

Vijay Grover
Publish Date: Oct 15 2016 9:38AM | Updated Date: Oct 15 2016 9:39AM

India-Russia to write a fresh chapter of friendship

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir hold bilateral summit ahead of the eighth BRICS meet in Goa on October 15, it would mark a significant development.

In the light of fast changing geo-political scenario in South Asia, both countries would like to renew their pledge to take their bilateral engagement to a new height.
It should be recalled that India and Russia are also celebrating 70 years of their diplomatic relations. As a mark of their close friendship, both Indian and Russian leaders will take part in the foundation laying ceremony for the third and fourth power units of Kudankulam nuclear power plant via a video conference from Goa.
Questions have been raised in various quarters on the impact of the joint military exercise between Russian and Pakistani troops in Pakistan on relations between New Delhi and Moscow. But Indian side has been dismissive about it.
Speaking to Policy Pulse, Indian ambassador to Russia, Pankaj Saran said, “you are reading too much into the development. This is something that need not raise concern.”
However, the bilateral trade between the two countries in terms of volume has seen a steady decline in the last two years. Having touched over $ 10 billion in 2013-14, the two countries logged only around $8 billion worth of trade last year.
“The main reason for the same is the glut in oil prices in last two years and the devaluation of the dollar,” remarked Pankaj Saran. Defence trade between the two countries has come down steadily in the last few years.
In view of this, the two countries are going to sign plethora of defence deal, including S-400 Triumph, an anti-missile defence system, joint manufacture of Kamov helicopters and others.
Russia has a very special place in our plans as it has been India’s biggest supporter on the MTCR regime and the NSG push by India,” added Vikas Swarup , spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.