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India - Russia, Joint Statement

December 04, 2002

New Delhi

The President of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin paid a state visit to India from 3-5 December 2002.

The President of the Russian Federation met the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The Vice President of India Shri B.S. Shekhawat, the Deputy Prime Minister Shri L.K. Advani and the Minister of External Affairs Shri Yashwant Sinha and the Leader of the Opposition Smt. Sonia Gandhi called on the President of the Russian Federation. The Prime Minister of India Shri A. B. Vajpayee and the President of the Russian Federation held talks on a range of bilateral, international and regional issues.

The wide-ranging discussions took place in the traditional atmosphere of warmth and cordiality, trust and friendship and mutual confidence characteristic of the relationship between the two countries.

The Delhi Declaration on Further Consolidation of the Strategic Partnership between India and the Russian Federation, signed by the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation during the visit, aims at elevating the strategic partnership to an even higher and a qualitatively new level in both bilateral relations and in the international arena. A "Joint Declaration on Strengthening and Enhancing Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation” was also signed. This document focuses in particular on upgrading bilateral economic relations - trade, investment, new areas of cooperation and science and technology projects with a commercial content. A number of other agreements were also signed to facilitate the further development of Indo-Russian relations in various fields of cooperation.

Both sides expressed satisfaction regarding the established practice of holding annual meetings at the summit level as well as meetings and exchanges at Ministerial and other levels. Both sides reiterated their determination to continue and further expand the excellent political contacts between the two countries. The regular and in-depth Foreign Office consultations on a wide range of issues were considered useful and productive.

The enhanced level of interaction between the National Security Council of India and the Security Council of the Russian Federation has provided a valuable dimension to the consultations between the two countries on addressing common threats and challenges.

Both sides reaffirmed their intention to redouble their efforts to further strengthen trade and economic relations aimed at promoting investment, boosting trade as well as removing trade barriers. Sharing a positive assessment of the work of the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation, the leaders stressed the need to adopt a farsighted approach/long-term strategy based on the changes anticipated in the content of bilateral economic ties as well as emerging trends in the global arena. In this connection, the Inter-Sessional Review Meeting of the Co-Chairmen held in New Delhi in November 2002 was considered to be of significance.

Both sides noted that energy security was a promising area of cooperation between the two sides. This was demonstrated by the conclusion of an agreement enabling participation of ONGC Videsh Limited in the Sakhalin Oil and Gas Project in the Russian Federation. Both sides would hold regular bilateral discussions, through appropriate mechanisms, regarding global energy production and supplies, which impact on their mutual interests.

Both sides noted with satisfaction the progress being made in the implementation of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project and recognised that the expanded scope of the project would meet the interests of both countries.

The successful launch of the GSLV in April 2001, which used a Russian cryogenic stage, was an example of the productive potential of cooperation between India and Russia in the peaceful applications of space technology. Both sides reiterated their commitment to further expand cooperation in this area.

Both sides noted that expanded cooperation in the field of military technical cooperation, especially joint research, development and training, as well as inter-services contacts, were consistent with the national security interests of both countries and for the cause of peace and stability in Asia and beyond.

Both sides agreed that it was important to strengthen the traditional contacts in the field of culture and consolidating the long-standing historical links between the peoples of the two countries. It was reiterated that Cultural Exchange Programme for the period 2003-2004 would be signed in the very near future.

India and Russia noted the need to protect and promote the unique artistic and cultural legacy of the Roerich family which has an abiding significance to Indo-Russian friendship.

Both sides decided to bring out a joint publication of the important agreements and documents signed between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation since 1993.

The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern. They noted a high degree of mutual understanding and close proximity of views.

India and Russia, as strategic partners, reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate bilaterally and at international fora on issues relating to strategic stability for the development of a multipolar world based on a new cooperative security order. The relationship of friendship, trust and confidence contributed to Eurasian stability as a whole and was a factor of global significance.

The objectives of strengthening regional and international security as well as extending support for advancing towards internationally recognised disarmament goals, in particular, through systematic and progressive efforts aimed at reducing nuclear weapons globally with the ultimate goal of eliminating them, were considered to be of priority importance. India welcomed the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Weapons signed by Russia and the US to progressively reduce their strategic offensive weapons. India and Russia called upon other nuclear weapon states also to join the process of nuclear reductions at an appropriate stage.

Both sides re-affirmed their commitment to further strengthening their system of national export controls without adversely affecting the peaceful application of dual use materials and technologies. They would also work towards further enhancing high-technology exchanges, trade and commerce consistent with the strategic partnership between the two countries

Both sides confirmed their determination to contribute to the establishment of a just multipolar world based on the principles of respect for the UN Charter and international law in the interest of removing threats to international peace and security. They advocate further reforming the United Nations with a view to strengthening it as the central mechanism for ensuring international peace and security as well as democratising international relations. Both sides agreed on the necessity of continuing the reform of the United Nations Security Council with a view to making it more representative and effective. The Russian Federation reaffirmed its support to the Republic of India as a deserving and strong candidate for the permanent membership in an expanded United Nations Security Council.

Both sides confirmed that international terrorism, religious extremism, separatism and secessionism, transborder organised crime and illicit traffic in arms and drugs constitute a growing and serious threat to international peace, security and stability. The tragedy involving hostage-taking in Moscow in October 2002 as well as the wave of terrorist attacks in India and other countries demonstrate that the international community is faced with an extensive threat by the forces of international terrorism. India and Russia firmly reject and condemn all types of terrorism, based on any ground – political, religious or ideological - and wherever it may exist. It was emphasized that the countermeasures against this menace should be taken on a comprehensive and sustained basis. Such measures should be directed also against those states, entities and individuals who support, fund or abet terrorists or provide them shelter or asylum to engage in cross-border terrorism. There should be no double-standards in the fight against terrorism. Both sides also reaffirmed the relevance of the Moscow Declaration on International Terrorism of 6 November 2001. They stressed the importance of strict implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on the fight against terrorism, in particular Resolution 1373. They also advocated intensifying efforts to finalise in the United Nations the draft International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and the draft Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism. Roots of terrorism which lay in their common neighbourhood posed a threat to their security interests. Both sides would take preventive and deterrent measures in meeting these threats and cooperate in this regard. Both sides declared their determination to enhance collective and bilateral efforts to prevent and suppress terrorism. This determination is reaffirmed by the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding on Combating International Terrorism during the current Indo-Russian Summit.

In their in-depth discussions regarding developments in Afghanistan, both sides noted the continuing threat to security in Afghanistan. Concern was expressed at the possible regrouping of former Taliban and Al Qaeda elements and their continuing links with their sponsors. At the same time, both sides expressed the hope that the Transitional Administration of Afghanistan will succeed in restoring peace in the country, rehabilitating economic and social infrastructure and ensuring economic recovery. They stressed that it is in the interest of the international community to see a stable and sovereign government in Afghanistan. All states concerned should, therefore, maintain a consensus on continuous support to the transitional Administration. Both sides supported further increasing international economic and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and agreed to continue to closely coordinate their actions. India and Russia made a positive assessment of the continuing utility of their Joint Working Group on Afghanistan, established during the visit of President Putin to India in October 2000.

Both sides considered security and stability in Central Asia to be of vital significance to them and supported further consolidating the secular and democratic way of life chosen by the people of Central Asia.

Both sides discussed in detail the current situation in South Asia. They stressed the importance of Islamabad implementing in full its obligations and promises to prevent the infiltration of terrorists across the Line of Control into the State of Jammu and Kashmir and at other points across the border, as well as to eliminate the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and Pakistan controlled territory as a prerequisite for the renewal of the peaceful dialogue between the two countries to resolve all outstanding issues in a bilateral framework as envisaged in Simla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1998.

Both sides noted the ever-increasing importance of Asia-Pacific Region and stressed the significance of the bilateral and multilateral relations with the countries of this region in the interest of stability and security in this vast region.

Both sides strongly opposed unilateral use or threat of use of force in violation of the UN Charter, as well as interference in internal affairs of other states. It was stressed that a comprehensive settlement of the situation around Iraq is possible only through political and diplomatic efforts in strict conformity with the rules of international law and only under the aegis of the United Nations. Both Sides noted the importance of continuing intensive work with the Iraqi leadership in order to encourage it to cooperate in good faith with the United Nations.

Both sides expressed their concern over the developments in the Middle East where a critical situation still persists. They advocated urgent measures to resume the Israeli-Palestine dialogue and noted that there is no alternative to the peace process. They strongly condemned any acts of violence against both Palestinians and Israelis and called for the earliest possible implementation of Resolution 1435 of the United Nations Security Council.

Both sides expressed their confidence that the visit of the President of the Russian Federation to India and the discussions held during the visit would contribute to further development of strategic partnership between the two countries, and to the expansion of bilateral cooperation and interaction aimed at strengthening international stability and building of a just, fair, democratic and multipolar world order.

The President of the Russian Federation invited the Prime Minister of India to visit the Russian Federation. The invitation was accepted with gratitude. The dates for the visit will be decided through diplomatic channels.

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