Embassy Press Releases

Visit of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to India

Russia and India reinforced their special relations with each other during Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi on March 12, 2010. The strong ties between Moscow and New Delhi date back to the 1950s.

After talks with Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh referred to him as a “great friend of India” and said “… we owe him a deep sense of gratitude for bringing our two countries so close to each other”. India regards Putin as the architect of the new strategic partnership between Russian and India signed in 2000.

Singh made it clear that Russia remained a key pillar of India’s foreign policy, referring to Russia as a trusted strategic partner. “Ours is a relationship that not only stands independent of any other, but whose significance has grown over time”, he said.

India and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement to cooperate in atomic energy and agreed on a roadmap for building nuclear power plants. A memorandum of understanding for bilateral cooperation in Russia’s satellite navigation system was also agreed on.

While welcoming the deals, Putin stressed that both countries were still short of realizing the potential of their partnership. “The level of our capabilities has not been reached”, he said following talks with Manmohan Singh.

“We have identified information technology and telecommunications as focus for our future economic cooperation”, Manmohan Singh said. “The outcomes of Prime Minister Putin’s visit are, therefore, rich and very substantive”, he added.

Separately, Putin and Singh agreed to intensify their consultations on Afghanistan in tackling the challenges posed by terrorism and extremism in the region.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s speech at a press-conference in New Delhi, March 12, 2010

First of all, let me say that I have had an opportunity today to share opinions with many of our friends, particularly the President of India and Ms Sonia Gandhi. I was also able to take part in an interesting online discussion with community activists, researchers, educators and students in India's three largest cities.

We concluded with a detailed and substantive discussion with our old friend, Mr. Manmohan Singh. I must say that truly a great deal has been accomplished in recent years to strengthen our relations, as was abundantly clear during today's discussion.

Everyone we have met with today, no matter their status or the topic of discussion, has displayed a very positive outlook on stronger Russian-Indian relations and great interest in new ways to strengthen bilateral ties.

This is my fifth visit to India, and with each visit I become more convinced that relations between our nations are unique. I do not think Mr. Manmohan Singh and I would have attained the present level of mutual trust, understanding and cooperation without the compassionate, friendly relations between the Indian and Russian peoples.

We are always aware of the public support for our efforts in both countries. This solid foundation allows us to hold a political dialogue, successfully work together to address important global problems and implement major economic and cultural projects.

We also spoke about the necessity of closer trade and economic ties. They are moving in the right direction, but it is evident that they have not yet reached their full capabilities, and we understand that they have great potential.

That is why today we discussed strengthening our energy relations, and not only in oil and gas, though they were also on the agenda. At the initiative of Mr. Manmohan Singh, we have agreed to prepare and sign a relevant intergovernmental agreement quite soon.

As you know, today we also signed a document for the development of our nuclear energy partnership. We are also working closely together in the field of mechanical engineering. The largest Russian companies manufacturing Ural and Kamaz lorries have started production in India.

We have agreed to continue working together in space exploration, including in both lunar research and by training two Indian astronauts, who are scheduled for launch in 2013. We have agreed to work together in the field of Global Positioning System, which is critical for our economic development, signing a relevant document today.

As previously agreed, we have confirmed our desire to increase our defense cooperation beyond the exchange of military hardware. Aircraft and armoured vehicle assembly is already underway, and there is our excellent joint endeavour, the BrahMos missile.

Today we also discussed further partnership in aviation -in particular, joint research for a fifth-generation aircraft. As you know, we Russians have thus far been carrying out this work independently. We have made considerable headway, and the fifth-generation aircraft are undergoing flight tests. We are confident that teamwork will bring spectacular results.

We also discussed cultural cooperation today. The Year of Russia in India and the Year of India in Russia were great successes. During the online talk with members of the public I mentioned at the beginning of this news conference, one person asked about the possibility of expanding student exchanges. I promised him that I would bring up the subject during my discussion with the Prime Minister.

I am pleased to report that the Prime Minister responded with animation, and offered the initiative his support. We asked our education ministers to address the matter and make government-level decisions as soon as possible regarding the mutual recognition of Indian degrees in Russia and Russian degrees in India.

In conclusion, I would like to thank our Indian friends once again for the warm reception we have enjoyed, and I express my hope that all our goals will be met.

Thank you.