PM Modi meets Austrian Chancellor on sidelines of SPIEF

| Updated: Jun 03, 2017 05:09 IST

Saint Petersburg [Russia], June 2 (ANI): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern on the sidelines of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2017. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bilateral diplomacy at multilateral forum. PM <a href="">@narendramodi</a> meets Mr. Christian Kern, Chancellor of Austria on the margins of SPIEF <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Gopal Baglay (@MEAIndia) <a href="">June 2, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script> Prime Minister Modi also met and interacted with 16 Governors of various provinces of Russia. He reiterated his vision that relationships between regions and provinces of two countries are a vital part of nurturing the bilateral relationship. He recalled warmly his visit to Astrakhan province of Russia in 2001, as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The Governors explained opportunities for increasing interaction, people to people, and business links between their provinces, and India. Pitching India as a favourable investment destination, Prime Minister Modi, earlier, asked the Russian business fraternity to explore the immense opportunities in the field of defence, services sector and manufacturing healthcare equipments. Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Prime Minister Modi said, "The eyes of the world are on Asia and there is renewed interest in India. In the last three years there have been substantial reforms guided by the principle of 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance. India is one of the fastest growing economies and is undertaking reforms at a rapid pace." He said India has taken various reformist measures to ward off red-tapism and has brought in transparency into the system. "Minimum government, maximum governance and red carpet instead of red tape have been the basis of governance reforms in India. Political will and clear vision are necessary for reforms. Bureaucracy too has to be vibrant and in tune with leadership," Prime Minister Modi said. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi hailed the ties between India and Russia that span the spectrum from Culture to Defence (Sanskriti se Suraksha) and said India welcomes Russia's unconditional support to India on the issue of cross border terrorism. He was addressing the media yesterday at the end of the 18th Annual India Russia Summit where he met Russian President Vladmir Putin. "The ties between India and Russia span the spectrum from Culture to Defence (Sanskriti se Suraksha). 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries have been marked by a high degree of convergence on various bilateral and global matters," said the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister welcomed Russia's unconditional support to India on the issue of cross border terrorism. Putin said no matter where the threat comes from, it is unacceptable and Russia will always support India in its fight against terror. India and Russia also issued the St. Petersburg Declaration, which Prime Minister described as a "benchmark of stability in a turbulent, interdependent and interconnected world". The Prime Minister described energy cooperation as one of the cornerstones of the relationship between India and Russia, and noted that this cooperation in the nuclear, hydrocarbon, and renewable energy sectors has been considerably deepened by the discussion and decisions taken today. In this context, he mentioned the agreement of Units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. The Prime Minister emphasized the role of the private sector in enhancing trade and commerical ties between the two countries, adding that India and Russia are close to achieving the target of 30 billion U.S. dollars worth of investment by 2025. Speaking on the theme of connectivity, the Prime Minister mentioned cooperation between the two countries in the International North South Transport Corridor. Among other initiatives, the Prime Minister mentioned the "bridge to innovation" to promote startups and entrepreneurship, and the forthcoming commencement of discussions on a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union. Underlining the time-tested strategic dimension of the India Russia relationship, the Prime Minister mentioned the forthcoming first Tri-services exercise - INDRA 2017, between the two countries. Defence production Joint Ventures for the production of Kamov 226 helicopters and frigates were also mentioned. He said India's participation as a guest country in the SPIEF and his address there today would further deepen economic cooperation between the two nations. On the cultural side, the Prime Minister said the deep awareness of Russian culture in India, and of Yoga and Ayurveda in Russia, was a matter of deep satisfaction. The Prime Minister welcomed and applauded President Putin's leadership in the growth of India-Russia relations. He also recalled his first visit to St. Petersburg as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001. Prime Minister Modi announced that a road in Delhi has been renamed after Ambassador Alexander Kadakin, whom he described as a friend of India, who passed away recently. Earlier, addressing CEOs of both countries, the Prime Minister invited Russian companies to invest in key sectors of the Indian economy, and particularly mentioned opportunities in the strategic sector. India and Russia signed five agreements in sectors covering nuclear energy, railways, gems and jewellery, traditional knowledge and cultural exchanges. The Prime Minister also paid homage to the heroic defenders and brave soldiers of the Battle of Leningrad, at the Piskarovskoye Cemetery. (ANI)