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Ties with India top priority, hope to push trade cooperation: Putin

New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin, in India for an annual bilateral summit, has said that ties with New Delhi have a "really unique special and privileged character" and he hoped to push trade and defence cooperation as well as interaction in international affairs.

Putin, who arrived early Monday on a day-long visit, said in an op-ed piece in The Hindu daily that "deepening of friendship and cooperation with India is among the top priorities of our foreign policy. And now we have every reason to say that they have really unique special and privileged character".

Putin said that bilateral trade turnover "has overcome the consequences of the global crisis" and they are expected to touch over $10 billion in 2012 and $20 billion by 2015.

AP


He mentioned the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu was an example of their cooperation, and added that "We expect that the implementation of our arrangements on the construction of new NPPs in India will begin in the nearest future".

"The strategic nature of the partnership between India and Russia is witnessed by the unprecedented level of our military and technical cooperation," he wrote and added that it should result in licensed production and joint development of advanced armaments "rather than just purchasing military products".

"Serious attention is being paid to developing a fifth-generation multifunctional fighter plane and a multipurpose transport aircraft. The product of our designers, the 'BrahMos' cruise missile, has successfully passed all tests. Today experts are thinking of its aircraft version."

He called for more cultural and people-to-people links and expressed confidence that the summit talks "will be constructive, as they always were, and their outcome will give a powerful impetus to a strategic partnership for the benefit of our two countries and peoples, in the interests of peace and stability in Eurasia and on our common planet".

The Russian president said that their "joint work in the BRICS has become increasingly intensive".

"Our proposed initiatives are aimed at establishing new architecture for a multipolar world order. The same constructive approach is also reflected in our interaction in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other multilateral formats. We expect a meaningful dialogue with the Indian side within the framework of Russia's presidency in the G20 that has begun."

He also outlined joint prospects for strategic partnership between India and Russia in the 21 century.

"These are deepening of cooperation in knowledge-intensive fields based on strong historic traditions, advancement of joint products to international markets, further increasing of the share of high value-added products in the trade turnover, enhancing the role and effectiveness of Indian-Russian interaction in international affairs, and the widest possible realization of the potential of cultural and humanitarian contacts."

IANS