Manmohan Singh arrives in Moscow on three-day visit

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Moscow, Dec.6 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, arrived here on Sunday afternoon on a three-day state visit, which he said would help strengthen the multi-faceted relationship that exists between India and Russia.

Senior Russian officials received Dr. Singh at Moscow International airport. During the visit, the two sides are expected to sign an expanded civil nuclear cooperation deal and three key defence pacts.

Earlier, in a departure statement issued before leaving for Moscow,Dr Singh had said: "The Annual Summit is the principal mechanism forthe advancement of our strategic partnership with Russia. This is apartnership based on the solid foundation of long-standing friendship, deep mutual trust and strong convergence of interests. Over the years, our multifaceted cooperation with Russia has acquired greater depth and maturity through joint efforts. We seek to strengthen these ties further."

The key points of his discussion with the Russian president are going to be cooperation in areas of defence, civil nuclear energy, space, science and technology and hydrocarbons.

"At the Summit meeting with President Medvedev, I hope to review the status of our bilateral cooperation, including in the key areas of defence, civil nuclear energy, space, science and technology and hydrocarbons," he said.

"I will also exchange views with the President on key regional andglobal issues such as terrorism, recovery of the global economy, energy security, climate change, nuclear disarmament and reform of international institutions."

Dr. Singh said he would be holding wide-ranging discussions with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The two Prime Ministers will also together attend the closing ceremony of the 'Year of India' celebrations in Russia.

"Prime Minister Putin and I will jointly attend the closing ceremony of the Year of India in Russia. I also look forward to meeting the members of the India-Russia CEO's Council along with Prime Minister Putin. These events symbolize the mutual desire of both countries to enhance people-to-people contacts, and expand our trade and economic engagement," Dr. Singh added.

This is Dr. Singh's second visit to Russia this year, during which India and Russia will sign three defence agreements. India also hopes to sign an Inter-Governmental framework agreement for cooperation in civil nuclear field. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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