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New nuclear plants, military cooperation high on agenda: Putin


A file photo.

MOSCOW (PTI): Terming the ties with India as a "privileged strategic partnership", Russian President Vladimir Putin tonight disclosed that construction of new nuclear plants besides military and technical cooperation was high on the agenda during his visit to New Delhi.

Seeking to dispel the perception that Russia-India ties had lost some warmth, Putin described India as a "reliable and time-tested partner" although he spoke of a "gradual transition from the producer-consumer model to joint development and production of advanced weapons systems".

Dismissing concerns in India about military cooperation between Russia and Pakistan, the President said "we have held talks on Russia's possible assistance in improving effectiveness of counter-terrorism and anti-drug operations".

"In my view, this kind of cooperation serves the long-term interest of all countries in the region, including India," Putin told PTI in a wide-ranging interview a day ahead of his arrival in the Indian capital on a 24-hour visit.

The Russian leader spoke warmly about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, describing him as a "reputable political leader, who has already made a significant personal contribution to the promotion of the Russian-Indian cooperation".

Putin said during his sixth visit to India he looked forward to specific steps aimed at "strengthening the privileged strategic partnership" between the two countries during which particular attention would be given to expanding trade and economic links, besides boosting mutual investments.

Listing the joint strategic projects, the President said that these included construction of new units for Indian nuclear power plants, promotion of Russian Sukhoi superjet-100 and MS-21 passenger aircraft to Indian market besides manufacturing of helicopters and creating a "smart city" on the basis of Russian technology.

Putin said Russia attached particular importance to the development of military and technical cooperation which is one of the main components of the strategic partnership.

"We will discuss in detail the current projects in this most important sphere related not only to the export of ready-made equipment but to close technological and industrial cooperation as well," he said.

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India  Russia  Defence  Putin  Modi  

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