Manmohan Singh delighted with Indo-Russian oil, gas pact

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New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday expressed his delight and satisfaction over India and Russia concluding an inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in the oil and gas sector following the hard work put in by both the sides.

"I am particularly glad that we have concluded an inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in the oil and gas sector. This is the result of a lot of hard work put in by both sides, and reflects the complementarities between our two economies. We will work towards its implementation through a mutually agreed roadmap," said Dr. Singh in his opening statement at the 'Joint Press Interaction' along with visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Singh said the talks with the Russian President Medvedev have been comprehensive and result oriented, and added that the two sides have also decided to enhance cultural exchanges.

"We have signed several important agreements covering a large number of sectors. This reflects our mutual desire to bring our cooperation in other areas at par with our traditionally strong cooperation in the defence and nuclear fields," said Dr. Singh.

"We welcome the increasing role being played by the India-Russia Forum on Trade and Investment and the CEOs Council. We have signed agreements in the pharmaceuticals and information technology sectors. These are areas, which have immense possibilities for expansion. The agreement on visa simplification that has been signed will help in ease of travel of citizens of our countries," he added.

Further applauding Russia for helping India in developing a scientific and industrial base, Dr. Singh said: "Long before other countries it was Russia which helped us in the development of our scientific and industrial base. I am therefore happy that we have renewed the Integrated Long Term Technology Programme with a mandate to establish an innovation based technology partnership.

"In the field of defence cooperation, we reviewed the ongoing projects, including those relating to joint design, development and production," he added.

The Prime Minister said India and Russia have also discussed the setting up of additional nuclear reactors at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

"Discussions have progressed on the construction of additional Russian designed nuclear reactors at Kudankulam, and we have signed an agreement to broaden scientific and technical cooperation in the field of nuclear energy," said Dr. Singh.

"We also reviewed the situation in our region and ways and means to further strengthen our coordination on international issues. We have agreed to intensify our consultations on Afghanistan. We look forward to working with Russia in the United Nations Security Council during our term over the next two years. We will work closely within the BRIC and G20 framework," he added.

Expressing his delight at the arrival of President Medvedev to India for the 11th India - Russia Annual Summit, Dr. Singh said India's relations with Russia are a factor of peace and stability in the region and the world, and stressed that the Summit has added even more substance to the cooperation between the two sides.

"I am delighted to welcome His Excellency President Medvedev to India for the 11th India - Russia Annual Summit. Our Summit this year marks the completion of ten years of the India-Russia Strategic Partnership. This is also the third Annual Summit meeting that I have held with President Medvedev. We deeply value the role that President Medvedev has played in taking forward our relationship," said Dr. Singh.

"The tradition of Annual Summits with Russia symbolizes the richness of our ties with Russia. Russia is a time-tested friend of India that has stood by us in our times of need in the past.

Ours is a special and privileged strategic partnership. It is a partnership that has and will continue to develop independent of our relations with other countries," he added. (ANI)

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