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PM Modi in Russia

Background
Recently the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi participated as a chief guest at the 5th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) at the invitation of President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Putin and held 20th India-Russia Annual Summit with him.

India and Russian Federation enjoy excellent relations based on a strong foundation and privileged strategic partnership cooperating in strategic fields of defence, civil nuclear energy and peaceful uses of space combined with a robust and growing trade and investment relations.

Act Far East Policy
At the 5th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, giving a new dimension to India’s economic diplomacy, PM Modi unveiled the ‘Act Far East’ policy for Russia and announced that India will extend a $1 billion line of credit towards the development of Russia's Far East. The development of resources in the Far East region is one of the top priorities for the Russian government as most of the gold and diamond is mined there. India intends to play a major role in this area.

PM Modi, the first Indian PM to visit Russia’s far east, stated EEF as a ‘historic opportunity’ to give a boost to the cooperation between the two countries. During the 1971 war with Pakistan when the US and Royal Navies of Britain threatened Indian security, the erstwhile Soviet Union dispatched nuclear-armed flotilla from its Pacific Fleet based at Vladivostok to support India. Since then, Vladivostok, located in the Russian Far East region has a special place in Indian context. The line of credit is described as paying back long-held India’s debt to Vladivostok. India also became the first country to open a Consulate in Vladivostok.

A special interest of India lies in the exploration of hydrocarbon reserves along the coast of Far East Russia. This development has opened a new dimension of economic diplomacy between the two countries.

Eastern Economic Forum
Eastern Economic Forum is an international forum held each year since 2015 in September, at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia, for the purpose of encouraging foreign investment in the Russian Far East. This year’s summit was the 5th edition of the forum attended by India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.

The Far East area lies in the Asian part of the Russian Federation and comparatively less developed from the European regions of the federation. By its ‘Pivot to Asia’ strategy, President Putin is inviting foreign countries to invest in this region.

Highlights of the Visit
•A joint statement issued later said the two sides “underlined the primacy of international law and emphasised their commitment to the purposes and the principles stated in the UN Charter including the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of member states.”

•Both countries were of the view that implementation in good faith of universally recognized principles and rules of international law excludes the practice of double standards or imposition of some States of their will on other States.

•Russia will train Indian astronauts for ‘Gaganyaan’- India’s manned space mission.

•Russia called for reform of the UN Security Council to reflect contemporary global realities and supported India’s permanent membership of the UNSC.

•Both India and Russia showed concern for arms race in outer space.

•Both sides agreed to take bilateral trade between them from current $11 billion to $30 billion by 2025.

•Countries agreed to set up more than 20 Russian designed nuclear units in India within the next 20 years.

•Both India and Russia have agreed to look into the feasibility of the Chennai-Vladivostok sea route that would allow India to reach Russia’s Far East in 24 days which is less in comparison to the 40 days taken by the current Suez Canal and European route.

•Russia backed Indian move of scrapping Article 370 in J&K stating the change is well within the ambit of the Indian Constitution.

•Both sides agreed to bolster cooperation in the fields of outer space, transport infrastructure, people to people contacts, counter-terrorism, oil and gas, mining, trade and investments, air and maritime connectivity, defence, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

•The two sides also signed 15 MOU’s in areas such as air and maritime connectivity, defence and energy.


Source: PIB, Wikipedia




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