India, Russia against outside influence in internal matters of any nation, says Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the ‘Zvezda’ Shipbuilding Plant on his two-day visit, at Vladivostok, in Russia, on Wednesday. More reports on last page. (PIB/PTI)
INDIA and Russia are against “outside influence” in the internal matters of any nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday during which they discussed ways to bolster co-operation in trade and investment, oil and gas, nuclear energy, defence, space and maritime connectivity. Modi, who arrived in Russia on a two-day visit during which he will also attend the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Russian Far East Region. “We both are against outside influence in the internal matters of any nation,” Modi said in a joint press meet with President Putin after their talks.
His remarks came against the backdrop of tension between India and Pakistan after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality. Russia has backed India’s move on Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the changes in the status are within the framework of the Indian Constitution. The two leaders held the delegation-level talks at the India-Russia 20th Annual Summit after a two-hour tête-à-tête on board a ship, aimed at strengthening the special and privileged relationship between the two sides.
They discussed ways to bolster co-operation in trade and investment, oil and gas, mining, nuclear energy, defence and security, air and maritime connectivity, transport infrastructure, hi-tech, outer space and people-to-people ties. Prime Minister Modi said a proposal has been made to have a full fledged maritime route between Chennai and Vladivostok. A Memorandum of Intent was signed between India and Russia on the development of maritime communications between Chennai and Vladivostok. “Due to the increasing localisation of nuclear plants being formed with the co-operation of Russia in India, we are also developing a true partnership in this field,” he said.
“The India-Russia friendship is not restricted to their respective capital cities. We have put people at the core of this relationship,” he added. The Prime Minister said that Russia will help train Indian astronauts for the manned space mission -- the Gaganyaan project. The two sides signed 15 agreements/MoUs in areas such as defence, air, and maritime connectivity, energy, natural gas, petroleum and trade. “The friendship and support between both the countries is growing with full speed...Our special and privileged strategic partnership has not only benefited our countries but also it has been used for the development of the people,” Modi said. “Both of us have taken our relationship to a new level based on co-operation and support which has resulted in not only quantitative changes but qualitative changes as well,” Modi said. On his part, Putin said India is one of the key partners of Russia and the relationship between the two States is of “strategic and special privileged nature.”