WORLD

Russia, India vow to take bilateral ties to new level

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak during a joint press conference ahead of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on September 4, 2019. (AFP Photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to take bilateral ties to a new level during talks on Wednesday.

Modi arrived in the Russian port city of Vladivostok for an official visit and to participate in the Eastern Economic Forum.

He said the two leaders have agreed to develop cooperation in defense, nuclear energy, business and space technology.

"Russia is a very close friend and trusted partner of India. You pay personal attention to the expansion of our particularly privileged strategic partnership. As two very close friends, we meet often, regularly. I have also spoken to you on the phone many times, and I never feel any doubt during these conversations," Modi said.

"To date, we have agreed to develop cooperation between our countries in several areas: defense, nuclear energy, business and space. We agreed to take this relationship to a new level," he concluded.

Fifteen documents in finance, including expanding payments in the national currencies, investments, trade, energy and military cooperation were signed following the meeting between the two leaders.

Putin and Modi agreed to strengthen cooperation in defense, including production of military equipment, components and spare parts, improvement of the after sales service system, and further regular joint exercises of the armed forces of the two countries.

"Close cooperation between Russia and India in the military and military-technical fields is one of the foundations of a particularly privileged bilateral strategic partnership," Putin said.

Putin and Modi welcomed facilitation of the visa process and growth of tourist exchanges as well as strengthen coordination in the international organizations, especially in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and in the G20.

Speaking about the Afghan peace process, the two leaders said they would continue "intensive discussion" on the issue aiming to achieve an "early peaceful settlement" in the country.

The Eastern Economic Forum is an international forum held each year in Vladivostok for the purpose of encouraging foreign investment in the Russian Far East. Russian leadership also uses the platform to discuss regional issues on sidelines of the event.

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