From the joint statement:
Beyond six nuclear power reactors at Kudankulam, Russia welcomed progress in identifying second site in India for additional six nuclear reactors.
Inter-governmental agreement (IGA) for building Kamov-226 helicopters under “Make in India” scheme.
Joint Study Group for studying possibility of hydrocarbon pipeline system connecting Russia and India.
ONGC Videsh pact with Rosneft for acquiring 15% stakes in Rosneft’s Vankorneft oilfields and discussions for further stakes in future.
Direct trade in diamonds between Russia and India and creation of a Special Notified Zone (SNZ) at the Bharat Diamond Bourse
Finalized visa pact to issue six-month, multiple entry, tourist visas, based on reciprocity.
MoU between "GLONASS” and Centre for Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC) for cooperating in commercial applications through integration of Russian and Indian satellite navigation systems.
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By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 25th December 15
Visiting Moscow at a time of trouble, when international sanctions over Ukraine are compounding the blow to Russia’s economy from plummeting oil prices, Prime Minister Narendra Modi signalled clearly that, notwithstanding India’s warming relations with the United States, Russia remains a privileged partner.
“We have stood together in bad times and good”, Modi reminded businessmen and officials at the CEO’s Forum in Moscow.
Defence, space and nuclear and hydrocarbon energy remain the four key pillars of the Indo-Russian partnership, but Modi placed an unusual focus on business and commerce. He talked up India as an investment destination, stating that its 7.4 per cent GDP growth is the highest amongst large countries.
“I have come to invite Russia to be a partner in India’s economic development”, said Modi. “We want to make India into a global manufacturing hub.”
Modi specially mentioned Russia’s interest in participating in the Delhi-Mumbai Infrastructure corridor. “I see Russia as a partner in India’s economic transformation”, said the prime minister.
While bilateral annual trade languishes at $10 billion, the two countries have set an ambitious target of tripling that over the coming decade.
The body language between the two leaders lacked the effusiveness of Modi’s earlier engagements with the leaders of the US, Japan, UK and France. However, Modi personally credited Putin for resurrecting the Indo-Russian strategic dialogue.
“You are the architect of the India-Russia Strategic Partnership… I have always had great respect and appreciation for (it)”, said Modi.
Defence was expected to be the highlight of the dialogue, but the joint statement only mentioned the signing of an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for manufacturing the Kamov-226 light helicopter in India.
“The (agreement) on manufacture of the Kamov 226 helicopter is the first big project under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. It is rightly with our most important defence partner”, said Modi.
There was no indication whether the Indian partner for this project would be Hindustan Aeronatics Ltd, or Reliance Defence, both of which are keen on this project.
It is noteworthy that there was no official mention of the S-400 air defence missile system, or the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), all projects that were discussed during the visit. The joint statement after the talks has only a cursory mention of defence.
Energy cooperation was an expected highlight, with the two sides talking about building 12 Russian nuclear reactors, in two different locations. While four reactors already have the green light in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu, and another two are being discussed; the next six reactors will come up at another location, probably Andhra Pradesh.
“Cooperation in nuclear energy (will eventually involve) twelve Russian nuclear reactors in two sites. The Indian manufacturing content has been increased in these. I thank President Putin for his support”, said Modi.
The Indian prime minister also talked up Indo-Russian cooperation in hydrocarbons, stating: “Russia can be a critical source of energy security for India. We are enlarging investment in Russia hydrocarbon sector.”
In September, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), had signed an agreement to buy a 15 per cent stake i Russia's second-largest oil and gas field, Vankor.
The joint statement put out by New Delhi and Moscow “welcomed the signing of Agreement between Rosneft and ONGC Videsh Limited for acquiring 15% stakes by OVL in Rosneft’s Vankorneft Oil fields and discussions for further stakes in future.”
The joint statement also “welcomed the first meeting of the Joint Study Group for studying the possibility of hydrocarbon pipeline system connecting Russia and India held in Moscow on November 6, 2015 as part of the Programme on Enhanced Cooperation in the Oil and Gas sphere signed in New Delhi in December 2014.”
Modi flagged cooperation between India and Russia on Afghanistan and Central Asia, specifically mentioning the road-cum-rail transportation corridor being built, with Indian support, through Iran’s Chabahar Port to those regions.
Significantly, the Indian prime minister backed Russia’s role in Syria, which has been sharply criticised by western powers for being supportive of Basher Assad’s regime. The joint statement notes: “Russia and India voiced their strong support to sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria. Both sides expressed a common understanding that the internal armed conflict in Syria cannot be solved by the use of force, but rather through political and diplomatic means – through a substantive intra-Syrian dialogue without preconditions or external interference…”
This constitutes vital diplomatic support for Moscow. Putin told the media after the bilateral dialogue: “It is important Russia and India make similar approaches to key international problems. Our countries are for a political settlement of the conflict in Syria and promotion of national reconciliation in Afghanistan.”
He also lauded the “high degree of (Indo-Russian) convergence on global issues”, terming Indo-Russian cooperation on the United Nations, BRICS, East Asia Summit, G-20 and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as “a partnership of global character”.