India and Russia agreed for a sea link between Vladivostok and Chennai

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Russia on September 4-5. During his visit he attended the Eastern Economic Forum Meet and 20th India-Russia Annual Summit in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok on September 5.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi invited President Putin for the next summit in India and he also accepted President Putin’s invitation to attend the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Russian Federation and the erstwhile Soviet Union in the 2nd World war next May, on the 9th of May in Moscow.

Addressing the joint Press Conference Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said, “It is a pleasant historical coincidence that President Putin and I have participated in the 20th Annual Summit between India and Russia. In the year 2001, when the Indo-Russian summit took place in Russia for the first time, my friend Putin was the President of Russia, and I was in the delegation of India with Atal Ji, the then Prime Minister and I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.” He added, During the political journey of President Putin and me, the friendship and cooperation between the two countries has grown rapidly and gone a long way.

In the summit both countries made dozens of business agreements.

PM said “Even in the strategic areas like defense, today’s agreement on the manufacturing of spare parts of Russian equipment by Joint Ventures of both the countries in India will promote the industry. This agreement and the joint venture of the AK-203 earlier this year are steps that are giving our defense cooperation a solid foundation of co-manufacturing outside the limited environment of Buyer-Seller.

Increasing localization of Nuclear Plants in collaboration with Russia in India is also developing a genuine partnership between us in this field.” He said, “Second, we are moving our relations beyond the capitals to the states of India and the regions of Russia outside the capitals. This is not surprising because on the one hand I have been the Chief Minister of Gujarat for a long time and President Putin is also aware of capabilities and potential of Russia’s territories. Therefore, it is natural that he conceived the Eastern Economic Forum and understood the importance of connecting a diverse country like India with it. No matter how much you appreciate it, less it is.”

“Immediately after receiving his invitation, we began to prepare very seriously. For this, Commerce Minister of India, Chief Minister of 4 states and more than 150 businessmen came to Vladivostok. Meeting with the special envoy to Far East and all 11 Governors of Far East have given very good results. Relations between states and regions found a framework. And coal, Diamond, Mining, rare earth, agriculture, timber, Pulp & Paper and tourism have revealed many new possibilities. And now a maritime route between Chennai and Vladivostok has also been proposed to increase connectivity between the regions. Third, we have greatly diversified our bilateral cooperation and added new dimensions to it. Nowadays, the highlight and headline is the unprecedented investment in each other’s hydrocarbon sector, not just oil and gas deals between India and Russia. A 5-year roadmap for cooperation in this sector, and cooperation in the search for Hydro-Carbon and LNG in Far East and the Arctic have been agreed.” He added “Our long association in space is touching new heights. Astronauts of India will receive training in Russia for Gaganyan, i.e. Indian Human Space Flight. To achieve the full potential of mutual investment, we have agreed to have an investment protection agreement soon. India’s ‘Russia Plus Desk’ and Russia’s Far East Investment and Export Agency’s Mumbai office will facilitate mutual investment.”

“To our Strategic Partnership,new chapters are also being added. The immense Tri-Services Exercise ‘Indra-2019’ between the two countries symbolizes our growing trust and confidence. Whenever the need arises, India and Russia work together not only in ordinary places of the world but in Antarctica and Arctic also.” Prime Minister Shri Modi said “Both countries are well aware that in today’s era, multi-polar world is essential for peace and stability. And the role of our cooperation and coordination in building it will be important. Therefore, we intuitively cooperate closely in BRICS, SCO and other global forums.”

“India wants to see an Afghanistan that is free, secure, unbroken, peaceful and democratic. We are both against external interference in the internal affairs of any country. We also had a fruitful discussions onconcept of India’s free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. We agree that India and Russia will cooperate and strengthen in areas such as cyber security, counter-terrorism, environment protection. India and Russia have agreed to organize a High Level Forum on Tiger Conservation next year.”

India and Russia aim to increase their trade from currently 11 billion dollars to 30 billion dollars by 2025.

Shri Narendra Modi became first Indian PM who attended the East Economic Forum. The forum aims at bringing investment and development of the Russian Far East. PM Shri Modi announced a credit line of $1 billion for the development of this region. During his visit, India and Russia singed Memorandum of Understanding for a sea link between Vladivostok, the capital of Russian Far East and Chennai. The agreed link will reduce the transport time from presently 40 days to 24 days.