Vladivostok (Russia), Sep 4 : India and Russia on Wednesday inked several key agreements, including one in the defence sector pertaining to 'cooperation in the production of spare parts' for Russian and Soviet military equipment.The pact was signed at the end of bilateral Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"This pact is important," said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale briefing reporters at the bilateral talks. Foreign Secretary also said that the energy is going to be one of the major pillars of the relationship between the two countries. Mr Gokhale reminded that the Prime Minister Modi has "repeatedly called for changing the nature of our relationship with all major defence partners from the buyer-seller relationship to one of co-production".
Mr Gokhale said this agreement is inked with the spirit of that vision. "It will be co-production in India in an inter-governmental form," he said. "Therefore, this is an important breakthrough in our defence relationship," Foreign Secretary said. Mr Gokhale said during the Summit talks both PM Modi and President Putin underlined the need for diversification of relationship from one limited to defence and civil nuclear to economic issues.
"The principal focus of this annual Summit in Vladivostok has been to strengthen the economic relationship," he emphasised in as many words.
Mr Gokhale also said at the talks, there was a "major breakthrough" in the energy sector. "This is a sector from where we are looking to diversify our sources of supply.....And we are increasingly finding it attractive to buy oil and gas from the Russian federation".
He said: "One of the major outcomes of visit of Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan (last week to Russia) was that we have agreed on a roadmap for cooperation in the next five years". This will work 'in both ways' --- he said adding, there will be Indian investment in Russia in exploring, exploitation and in the transportation of energy as well as the Russian investment in India in the downstream sectors".
"We are looking at investing in additional oil fields in Russia....in the eastern clusters. And we are also looking at sourcing LNG". Mr Gokhale said in this regard, President Putin also laid emphasis that there is a need for us to look at -- like how they can supply Russian energy to India in a 'safe-secured' manner.
"Energy is going to be one of the major pillars of relationship," he said.
There were pacts signed on culture, infrastructure and economic sectors too, Foreign Secretary said.
There have been Memorandum of Understanding between Coal India Limited and Far East Investment and Export Agency to cooperate in coking coal mining projects implementation in the Russian Far East. There was also a pact between Invest India and the Russian Direct Investment Fund for Investment Collaboration and also for cooperation between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry the Roscongress Foundation.
There was one Memorandum of Understanding between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Autonomous Non-profit Organization Agency for Strategic Initiatives to promote New Projects, MEA sources said. (UNI)