Manmohan Singh says vast potential for mutual cooperation with Russia exists

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New Delhi, Feb.12 : The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, today said that there is vast potential for mutual cooperation between India and Russia.

Speaking at a joint press interaction with his Russian counterpart , Victor Zubkov, at Hyderbad House here today, Dr. Singh said such high level exchanges between India and Russia "reflect the time tested nature of the close and special ties that exist between our two countries."

Stating that Prime Minister Zubkov and he had had an extremely productive and comprehensive discussion on all aspects of the bilateral relationship, he said that he had conveyed to Zubkov to need for redoubling efforts to tap the full potential of the two economies.

"We agreed to redouble our efforts to tap the full potential of our two economies. We agreed on the need to diversify our trade basket, and expand cooperation in sectors such as minerals, diamonds, transport and infrastructure, investment and services, and high technology," he said, adding that a Joint Task Force would be operationalised to implement recommendations and to increase bilateral trade to 10 billion American dollars by 2010.

He also said that both governments have agreed to consider a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, besides exploring cooperation in the area of hydrocarbons.

"I expressed my hope that ongoing discussions between our oil and gas companies would result in finalization of joint projects in India, Russia and third countries," Singh said.

We expressed our satisfaction at the status of our ongoing collaboration in the fields of science and technology, space and civil nuclear cooperation. We have finalised negotiations in regard to reaching an agreement on cooperation in the construction of additional nuclear power plants in India. We reaffirmed our commitment to build upon our defence relations which is an important pillar of our Strategic Partnership.

Our talks today have reaffirmed our joint commitment to further strengthen Indo-Russian relations for the mutual benefit and prosperity of our two peoples, and for our region and the world. I conveyed to the Prime Minister the importance we attach to his participation in the meeting of the Indo-Russia Forum on Trade and Investment and the "Year of Russia" in India. Later today, I will be accompanying the Prime Minister to formally inaugurate the "Year of Russia" in India," Dr. Singh said in his statement.

ANI

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