The expanded format meeting between the two delegations was followed by a face-to-face conversation over a working lunch.
Following the summit, a Joint Statement Russia – India: Partnership for Peace, Progress and Prosperity was adopted.
In addition, the two countries signed a package of documents before the Russian President’s meeting with the Prime Minister of India. They include an intergovernmental agreement on technology protection due to cooperation in space research and the use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and on building and operating launch vehicles and ground-based space infrastructure; an intergovernmental agreement on the Military-Technical Cooperation Programme for 2021–2031; as well as a protocol amending the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in manufacturing Kalashnikov series small arms of February 18, 2019.
The Central Bank of Russia and the Reserve Bank of India signed a cooperation agreement to fight cyber-attacks. Also, relevant agencies signed a number of agreements in the sphere of education and memoranda of cooperation on intellectual property and on geological exploration and prospecting.
The documents signed included a roadmap for cooperation in science, technology and innovation; a programme of cultural exchanges for 2021–2024; a protocol on the organisation of culture festivals between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India in 2022–2023; as well as documents amending the intergovernmental agreement on merchant shipping of December 23, 1994, and concerning Russian oil supplies in 2022.
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Beginning of Russian-Indian talks
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (retranslated): Your Excellency, my dear friend, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin,
I would like to welcome you to the annual bilateral summit in New Delhi. I would also like to welcome all members of the Russian Federation delegation.
I know that this is only your second visit abroad for almost two years. This shows your personal commitment to our relations. You are visiting India despite all the pandemic difficulties and this shows your love of India.
Despite the pandemic-related complications, the development of bilateral India-Russia relations has not slowed. We continue strengthening our specially privileged strategic partnership.
We have maintained close cooperation in countering COVID-19, be it during testing vaccine production, providing humanitarian aid or helping people return home in a difficult time.
Your Excellency, 2021 is an important year for bilateral relations for various reasons: this year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation between India and the Soviet Union and two decades of strategic partnership. This is why I am so pleased to meet you in this special year because you have stood behind our strategic partnership over the past 20 years.
Many fundamental changes have taken place in the world in the past few decades. Various geopolitical formations have come into being, but one thing remained immune to change – the Russia-India friendship. Our countries not only cooperate with each other but also show special care for each other’s sensitive issues. This is indeed a unique, trust-based model of interstate friendship.
2021 is important for our strategic partnership as well. The first meeting of foreign ministers and defence ministers in the “2+2” format took place today and thus launched one more mechanism to strengthen practical cooperation.
We have maintained regular contact on Afghanistan and on a number of other issues as well. The interregional side of our partnership, which goes back to the Eastern Economic Forum and our summit in Vladivostok, has become a specific part of cooperation between the Russian Far East and various Indian states.
In the economy, we have adopted a long-term vision to reinforce our relationship. Our goal is to increase mutual trade to US$30 billion by 2025 and to increase mutual investment to US$50 billion. To do so, we must issue the proper assignments to our respective business communities.
The various agreements that were concluded today will help us expand cooperation as well. Our defence cooperation is being strengthened through joint development and production efforts under the Made in India programme. Cooperation in space and civilian nuclear energy is expanding as well.
I would like to congratulate Russia on obtaining observer status in the Non-Aligned Movement and dialogue partner status in the Indian Ocean Rim Association. We were delighted to support Russia’s presence in these associations.
India and Russia have similar positions on many regional and global issues. We will have the opportunity to exchange views on these matters during today’s meeting.
Once again, welcome to India. I would also like to welcome all members of the Russian delegation. Despite your busy schedule, you made the time to visit us, and we appreciate this. I am sure that our discussions today will be very productive for our relations.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Prime Minister, my friend.
It is an honour and a privilege for me to visit friendly India once again.
We regularly hold summits at the highest level, in fact, they take place every year, with India and Russia taking turns in hosting them. Unfortunately, we had to skip last year due to the pandemic. Still, it is our turn to come to India, and I thank you for your invitation.
Russia views India as a major power, whose people have been very friendly to us. Our relations proceed from a very positive foundation. They are developing and forward-looking.
In 2020, trade between our countries decreased by more than 17 percent, but in the first nine months of 2021 it grew by over 38 percent. There is no doubt that we have every opportunity to reach the trade volumes you have mentioned.
This also applies to investment, which currently stands at US$38 billion and is more or less equally distributed between the two countries, with Russia having a slightly larger share. That said, we have been working together in very important and promising areas, including energy, high technology, and space. I am certain that the programmes you have mentioned will be carried out, including the one to train an Indian cosmonaut.
We have been promoting military-technical cooperation like with no other partner of ours. Together, we develop and manufacture high-technology military products, including in India.
There is another essential item on our agenda, which is of interest for both India and Russia. I am referring to taking care of the environment. Our minds are set on this topic, the green agenda, as well as on the economy and ways of developing it. Of course, we are realistic in our efforts, seeking to fulfil the needs of our economies and improve the standard of living for our citizens on an ongoing basis.
We remain proactively involved on the international stage. Just as you have said, our positions coincide on many issues. Of course, terrorism and efforts to fight it are a matter of grave concern, as are combatting drug trafficking and organised crime.
In this context, the developments in Afghanistan are of course a matter of serious concern for us. The foreign and defence ministers, who are present today, held their first meeting in such format, demonstrating our commitment to developing our relations in international and military affairs.
We hold joint exercises both in India and Russia. We are grateful for the attention you have given to this aspect of our cooperation and intend to keep moving in the same direction.
Once again, thank you very much for your invitation.