New Delhi [India], November 7 (ANI): Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev on Tuesday said that New Delhi is not only a time-tested friend of Moscow, but also a very attractive business partner with impressive growth rates and tremendous potential.
Speaking at the panel discussion during the release of VIF-RIAC report in India to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Ambassador Kudashev said, "The special and privileged partnership between Moscow and New Delhi rests upon mutual trust, coinciding key geopolitical interests, similar economic and social goals, as well as deep-rooted affection between our nations."
Emphasising that international relations are undergoing profound transformations at present, the Russian envoy said, "We see India with its democratic ideals as a natural partner in building a polycentric and fair world order based on the rule of law."
He noted that India and Russia through joint efforts promote a positive unifying agenda in international affairs and work to meet challenges and threats of the 21st century.
Ambassador Kudashev said the main task for both countries in terms of bilateral trade and economic cooperation include greater volume and better structure of bilateral trade with the target of $30 billion by 2025, adding that a special working group on priority investment projects has been established within the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation to achieve this purpose.
Asserting that cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear power is one of the pillars of India-Russia bilateral partnership, the envoy said that Russian specialists have built two units of NPP Kudankulam, which are operational, with the construction of the next two being underway. The fifth and sixth reactor blocks are also in the pipeline.
"Hydrocarbons are another promising and rapidly developing area of cooperation. The recent Rosneft's acquisition of Essar Oil Ltd has become the largest foreign capital investment in India's economy on record - almost $13 billion," he noted.
"We welcome the December 2016 decision to open talks on signing an agreement to create a free trade area between the EAEU and India. The North-South International Transport Corridor also offers vast opportunities for enhancing regional connectivity. These initiatives, among other steps, will be instrumental in terms of creating a single space across Eurasia, by interlinking the economies of regional powers through joint long-term projects for the sake of general prosperity and economic security," he said.
Ambassador Kudashev further said that "Make in India" provides an extra incentive to establishing joint ventures on the Indian territory in both civilian and military-industrial sectors.
Despite intense competition for India's arms market, he said that Russia has retained its unique position in terms of supplies and co-production of defence products and military equipment, while sharing razor-edge defence technologies.
Highlighting the military cooperation between the both sides, the envoy said that Russian-Indian exercises with all branches and services of the armed forces take place every year and last month saw the first joint tri-services exercise INDRA 2017 in Vladivostok.
"Russian and Indian cultural traditions invariably find great appreciation among our peoples encouraging annual festivals and continuous exchange of song-and-dance troupes, theater companies, exhibitions, and many more," he said.
"While upholding glorious traditions of the past, we are adapting to the new realities and requirements of the modern day. This mutual flexibility and commitment to further strengthening of the special and privileged strategic partnership will undoubtedly bring new dimension and meanings to our centuries-long ties," Ambassador Kudashev added. (ANI)