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Arrival statement of Prime Minister shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his visit to the Russian Federation (Archived)

November 07, 2001

St. Petersburg - November 04-07, 2001

Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee commenced a State Visit to the Russian Federation (November 4-7, 2001) from the historic city of St. Petersburg at the invitation of H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation. During the visit, the Prime Minister will visit St. Petersburg and Moscow.

In St. Petersburg, the prime Minister will meet H.E. Mr. Vladimir Yakovlev, Governor of St. Petersburg. He will inaugurate an exposition of paintings on India at the Russian Museum. He will also meet Indologists and Experts from the School of International Relations.

In Moscow, the Prime Minister will hold talks with president Putin and meet other prominent Russian personalities. He will also attend a function at the Moscow State University, where he will be conferred and Honorary Doctorate. He will also hold meetings with Indologists and the representative so the Indian Community, including business sector, students, and those active in culture.

Prime Minster’s visit to Russia is taking place against the backdrop of the declaration on Strategic Partnership, signed during President Putin’s highly successful landmark visit to India in October last year, which envisaged annual summits to carry forward political dialogue. Prime Minster and President Putin have maintained close contacts through exchange of messages and telephone conversations.

The visit is expected to impart a new impulse, greater depth and content to Indo-Russian relations and consolidate the positive trends that have emerged in recent years. The visit would further accelerate the enhanced tempo in bilateral relations, deepen political understanding and expand the range of economic interactions.

Prime Minister’s discussions with the Russian leadership will cover the entire gamut of bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.

A major Joint Statement on International Terrorism is expected to be issued by the two leaders. In addition, there would be Joint Statements on bilateral and International issues, strategic issues and on energy security. Agreements to be signed during the Prime Minister’s visit will cover several sectors of our wide-ranging relationship including Atomic Energy, S&T, Commerce, Cultural cooperation, Inter-regional cooperation, Communications and Educational and academic contacts. They would take forward the process of building a comprehensive legal structure for our relations to facilitate strengthened cooperation in different areas.

India and Russia have a regular exchange of visits in different areas. Since the visit of President Putin to India in October 2000, there have been 14 ministerial-level visits between the two countries in 2001. These included the meeting in January of the Inter-Governmental Commission for Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Co-operation in Moscow, co-chaired by Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha and Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, followed by the Inter-Sessional Review Meeting in Delhi in October; Defence & External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh’s visit to Russia for the first meeting of India-Russia Joint Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation in June; Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov’s visit in May to India; Information Technology minister Pramod Mahajan’s visit to Russia in September; and Human Resources Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi’s visit to Russia in October. Wide ranging contacts at the official and expert levels as well as cultural academic and people to people exchanges have also been maintained.

Several positive steps have been taken to implement the decisions reached during president Putin’s visit. Prominent among these include: (i) Afghanistan: The Joint Working Group has met thrice in November 2000, June 2001 and October 2001; (ii) Trade and Economic Cooperation: The 7th Session of the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission was held in Moscow on 17 January 2001. Important decisions on expansion and diversification of trade and economic cooperation were taken: (iii) Defence: The first meeting of the Ministerial Joint Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation was held in Moscow on 4-6 June 2001: (iv) Oil Exploration: Agreement on ONGC Videsh’s investment in the Sakhalin-I project was concluded in February 2001: (v) Inter-Regional Cooperation: The Inter-Governmental Agreement between on the principles of cooperation between the states and union territories of the republic of India and the Administrations (governments) of the subjects of Russian Federation signed during President Putin’s visit to India has entered into force. The first meeting of the Working Group on cooperation between regions was held in Moscow on 14 December 2000.

Continuing tradition of high-level exchanges between the two countries is reflective of special and enduring bonds between India and Russia. While there is dynamism and change in the relationship, three is also a remarkable degree of continuity and stability, based on national consensus in both countries as well as mutual goodwill and trust and sensitivity to mutual interests and concern.

St. Petersburg

4 November, 2001

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