Russia is the first country with which India instituted Annual Summits. This has followed the Declaration of Strategic Partnership between India and the Russian Federation in October 2000 in New Delhi. Since then annual Summits have been held regularly every year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Russia in early June (01-02) for holding the 18th India-Russia Annual Summit in St. Petersburg with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. It was the first time that the Annual Summit took place in Russia outside Moscow. Following the Summit, Modi participated, also for the first time, in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 2, 2017 as Guest of Honour.
At the bilateral Summit in St. Petersburg (June 1, 2017) Modi and Putin reviewed the entire gamut of India-Russia bilateral relations and the progress made since their last summit held in Goa on October 15, 2016.
Excerpts from St Petersburg Declaration titled “A Vision For The 21st Century”
We, the leaders of India and Russia, in the year that marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries, note that the Indian-Russian special and privileged strategic partnership is a unique relationship of mutual trust between two great powers. Our relationship covers all areas of cooperation, including in the spheres of political relations, security, trade and economy, military and technical field, energy, scientific, cultural and humanitarian exchanges, and foreign policy, and helps promote national interests of both countries, and contributes to the establishment of a more peaceful and just world order.
Our bilateral relations are based on deep mutual understanding and respect, similar priorities in economic and social development, as well as in foreign policy. We favor the same approaches to ensuring peace and security and shaping a global architecture that reflects cultural and civilizational diversity and at the same time strengthens unity of humankind. India-Russia relations have stood the test of time and have been immune to external influences.
Russia unwaveringly supported India in its struggle for independence and helped it to achieve self-sufficiency. In August 1971, our countries signed the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation, which outlined fundamental principles of mutual relations such as respect for each other’s sovereignty and interests, good neighborliness and peaceful co-existence. Two decades later, in January 1993, India and Russia reaffirmed the inviolability of those provisions in the new Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation.The Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation of October 3, 2000, took the bilateral relations to a new level characterized by coordinated approaches towards ensuring international peace and security, addressing major global and regional issues, as well as close cooperation in economic, cultural, educational and other areas. This partnership was further elevated to the level of a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership on 21 December 2010.
Advancing the comprehensive development of the Indian-Russian relations is an absolute priority of the foreign policy of both States. We will continue to widen our scope of cooperation by launching large-scale initiatives in different spheres and enhance and enrich our bilateral agenda so as to make it more result-oriented.
The economies of India and Russia complement each other in the energy sector. We will strive to build an “Energy Bridge” between our States and expand bilateral relations in all areas of energy cooperation, including nuclear, hydrocarbon, hydel and renewable energy sources and in improving energy efficiency.
India and Russia note that wider use of natural gas, an economically efficient and environmentally friendly fuel, which has become an integral part of the global energy market, is highly significant for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and will assist in fulfilling the provisions of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as well as achieving sustainable economic growth.Cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy has emerged as one of the hallmarks of the strategic partnership between the two countries, contributing to India’s energy security and energizing broader scientific and technological cooperation. With concerted efforts on both sides, there has been a series of steady and demonstrable achievements in our civil nuclear partnership, including advancing nuclear power projects at the Kudankulam site and transforming it into one of India’s largest energy hubs. We welcome the conclusion of the General Framework Agreement and Credit Protocol for Units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. We will work towards the implementation of the Strategic Vision for Strengthening Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy signed between the two countries on December 11, 2014. The future of Indian-Russian cooperation holds great promise across a wide spectrum covering nuclear power, nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear science and technology.
The growing partnership in the nuclear power sector between India and Russia has opened opportunities for developing advanced nuclear manufacturing capabilities in India in line with Government of India’s “Make in India” initiative. India and Russia commit themselves to earnestly implement the “Programme of Action for Localization in India” signed on 24 December 2015, and to encourage their nuclear industries to engage closely and foster concrete collaborations.
We are interested in launching joint projects on exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Arctic shelf of the Russian Federation.
We will develop joint strategies to harness the potential for mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of deep sea exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources, polymetallic nodules, and other marine resources utilizing strengths in the field of maritime research and training to develop mutually beneficial cooperation.
We welcome cooperation among energy companies of both States in modernizing the existing power stations and building new ones in the territory of India. We will endeavour to develop joint projects in each other’s countries through sharing of technologies, experience of working in different terrains and climatic conditions, and use of energy efficient technologies for creation and propagation of cleaner, climate friendly and affordable energy resources.
Our major economic objectives include expanding trade and investment and diversification of trade in goods and services, in particular increasing the share of high-technology products in bilateral trade, fostering industrial cooperation, improving the environment for entrepreneurship and investments and developing cooperation in banking and financial matters between the two countries. As the next stage of our strategic partnership, we will extend our bilateral technical, economic and scientific cooperation to third countries by undertaking joint development projects in mutually agreed sectors.
We will coordinate our efforts to promote settlements of Indian-Russian trade in national currencies to reduce dependence of our bilateral trade on other currencies. We will jointly encourage our business communities to use the existing workable schemes and mechanisms for settlements in national currencies elaborated by the Reserve Bank of India and the Bank of Russia.
We will coordinate our positions in order to develop a credit rating industry that is transparent for the market participants and independent from political conjuncture. In this sense we support work aimed at exploring the opportunities of harmonization of our legislation in the area of credit ratings, as well as the recognition of ratings of our local credit rating agencies.
We acknowledge the importance of developing economic cooperation at the regional level. We will facilitate an early commencement of negotiations on a free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and the Republic of India.
We appreciate the compelling logic of regional connectivity for peace, progress and prosperity. We believe that connectivity must be strengthened It should be based on dialogue and consent of all parties concerned with due respect to sovereignty. The Russian and Indian Sides being guided by the principles of transparency, sustainability and responsibility, reiterate their commitment to build effective infrastructure for the International North South Transport Corridor and implementation of the Green Corridor.
We take note of the fact that both States are committed to building knowledge based economies, on the basis of latest scientific advances and innovation. We will broaden cooperation in designing, developing, manufacturing and bringing to foreign markets high-technology products and strengthen scientific collaboration in areas such as space technology, aviation, new materials, agriculture, information and communication technologies, medicine, pharmaceuticals, robotics, nanotechnology, supercomputing technologies, artificial intelligence and material sciences. We welcome the establishment of the High Level Committee on Cooperation in High Technologies between the two countries.
We will work together to step up joint efforts aimed at modernizing infrastructure, explore ways to jointly respond to urbanization challenges, address issues related to ensuring food security, preserving water and forest resources, and share experience in carrying out economic reforms and national programs for the development of small and medium enterprises and in skill development.
We will work together to further develop the potential for cooperation in the diamond industry with an objective to take full advantage of existing strengths and resources of both our countries in this area. We will also intensify our joint efforts to counter undisclosed synthetic stones entering diamond market and to support the development of generic marketing programmes for diamonds.
Recognizing the strength of Russia in shipbuilding, river navigation and desalination technologies, we will work together to develop joint projects through transfer of technology and experience sharing for developing inland waterways, river embankments, ports and cargo containers towards effective utilization of extensive river systems in India.
We will work together in development of high speed railways, dedicated freight corridors, and application of newer technologies for efficient rail transport through joint development and sharing of technologies, and training of personnel to benefit from each other’s competences in the railroad sector.
We will work together to improve market access for agriculture and food commodities in each other’s country and develop joint strategies through research & development for utilization of existing potential in the agriculture and food processing sector covering an entire spectrum of activities from farming, harvesting, production, processing to marketing strategies.We will work together to explore joint projects for effective use of natural resources in each other’s country through application of existing technologies and development and sharing of newer technologies for search in the field of mining & metallurgy for affordable and climate friendly utilization of natural resources.
We note that India will become the third largest aviation market by 2020 and in this connection, recognize that the Regional Connectivity Scheme of the Government of India provides an opportunity for strengthening cooperation in joint production and setting up of joint ventures in India in the field of aviation manufacturing to serve the demand created and for export to third countries.
Our bilateral defense cooperation is built on strong mutual trust. Russia exports its modern military technologies to India. We will upgrade and intensify this cooperation, through joint manufacture, co-production and co-development of military hardware and military spares, with increasing reliance on the adoption and sharing of future technologies, in compliance with the obligations of the sides under the existing agreements on military-technical cooperation.
We will work towards a qualitatively higher level of military-to-military cooperation. We will continue holding regular joint land and sea military exercises, and training in each others’ military institutions. This year will see the first ever Tri-services exercise INDRA–2017.
We see ample opportunities for bilateral cooperation in space research, with a view to using relevant technologies for the benefit of society.
We will continue joint work to prevent and respond to natural disasters.
We intend to enhance and actively promote greater cooperation between our regions and states, with a particular emphasis on the Far East region of Russia.
India and Russia regard the establishment of the multi-polar global order in international relations as a reflection of natural and inevitable process of evolution of interstate relations in the 21st century. In this regard, we will enhance collaboration to democratize the system of international relations based on the principles of the rule of law and the central role of the United Nations coordination of world politics. We believe that there is a need to reform the United Nations and in particular, the United Nations Security Council to make it more representative of contemporary realities and to respond more effectively to emerging challenges and threats. Russia reaffirms its strong support to India’s candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed United Nations Security Council. We will support the advancement of a positive unifying global agenda, effectively engage in international efforts to strengthen peace and ensure global and regional stability and security, confront challenges and threats, and actively promote just and coordinated approaches to crisis resolution.
We will work to foster the democratization and reform of global political, economic, financial and social institutions, for them to better accommodate the interests of all members of the international community. We oppose any recourse to unilateralism or lack of respect to sovereignty, ignoring the core concerns and legitimate interests of the countries. In particular, we do not accept the unilateral use of political and economic sanctions as a means of exerting pressure.
We intend to further build up fruitful cooperation within BRICS, which, as a result of our joint efforts, enhances consistently its authoritative and influential role in global affairs.
We will continue to develop cooperation within other multilateral forums and organizations, including the WTO, G20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as Russia-India-China cooperation.
India’s full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will considerably enhance the Organization’s capabilities to ensure peace and stability, achieve economic development and prosperity in Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as improve the Organization’s international standing.
We will continue facilitating efforts to build an open, well-balanced and inclusive security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region based on shared principles and taking into account the legitimate interests of all States of the region, including through the development of relevant dialogue in the framework of the East Asia Summit.
We will further coordinate our positions on the challenging issues of restoration of peace and stability in the Middle East and North Africa, settlement of the Syrian crisis, achievement of national reconciliation in Afghanistan, including in the agreed framework of the Moscow dialogue, using the laid down principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, while encouraging the countries to lead the change from within.
India and Russia have a shared commitment to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.Russia is convinced that India’s participation in multilateral export control regimes will contribute to their enhancement. In this context, Russia welcomes India’s applications for the membership in Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement and reiterates its strong support for India’s earliest admission to these export control regimes.
We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stress that there can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons. Together, we will continue efforts to combat international terrorism, which poses a great threat to maintenance of peace and security. We are convinced that the unprecedented spread of this threat requires decisive collective response on part of the entire global community, without double standards and selectivity, in accordance with international law and the UN Charter. We urge all countries and entities to work sincerely to disrupt terrorist networks and their financing, and stop cross-border movement of terrorists. We call for early conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to strengthen the global counter-terrorism normative and legal framework to combat this scourge.
Sharing common approaches to providing security in the use of information and communication technologies, we intend to keep working together for developing universal rules, standards and principles of responsible behaviour of the States in this context, on the basis of democratization and a model representing multi-stakeholderism with primacy of the State, in global internet governance.
We recognize the necessity to activate bilateral interaction in this sphere on the basis of the Indian-Russian Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Security in the use of Information and Communication Technologies.Taking into account the profound mutual interest, sympathy and respect between the peoples of India and Russia, we will contribute to further developing bilateral contacts in the sphere of culture and sports, including by organizing annual festivals and exchanges. We welcome the organizing of events in different cities in both countries to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Russia in 2017-18.
Bilateral cooperation in the sphere of education offers great opportunities. We will work to strengthen cooperation in the field of education through promoting direct contacts among universities and academic institutions and providing assistance to students from the two countries.
Our Bilateral cooperation in the sphere of Science & Technology offers great opportunities. We are committed to work together to address global challenges like Climate change, Environmental protection, Clean energy, Cyber security, Affordable health care, Marine biology etc through scientific discoveries and to explore priority areas of common interest. We are working together to create networks of knowledge centers, connectivity of minds and scientific corridors to augment innovation led technology development for societal development.
We intend to further foster development of tourism and people-to-people contacts, including by easing the visa regime.
We are confident that India and Russia will continue to remain a role model for harmonious and mutually beneficial partnership and strong friendship between two states. Building on the shared vision of development of bilateral relations, we will succeed in further realizing the immense potential of India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership for the benefit of our States and international community as a whole.