New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday with the highlight of their engagement being the conclusion of the general framework agreement and credit protocol for two additional nuclear reactors at Kudankulam.
Moscow had been pushing India to sign the agreement for the past eight months, with Russia’s deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin specifically taking up the issue with Modi, as first reported by TOI on May 17, in a meeting ahead of the summit. Russian officials described the conclusion of the agreement as the biggest take away from the summit.
The agreement had missed two deadlines earlier. Modi said finalisation of the agreement would further deepen cooperation in civil nuclear energy between the two countries. Apart from the agreement for Kudankulam 5 and 6 reactor units, the two countries signed four other agreements.
The two countries strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations in a joint declaration and stressed that there could be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons.
“Together, we will continue efforts to combat international terrorism, which poses a great threat to the maintenance of peace and security. We are convinced that the unprecedented spread of this threat requires a decisive collective response on the part of the entire global community, without double standards and selectivity, in accordance with international law and the UN Charter,” said the declaration.
Modi also invited Russian companies to partner Indian firms in setting up manufacturing facilities to make high-tech defence equipment in India.
Addressing CEOs of the two countries after the annual bilateral summit here, Modi said India had last month approved a policy to allow local private companies to work with foreign players to manufacture defence equipment in a bid to cut reliance on imports.
“India is the sixth biggest manufacturer in the world and we want to raise the share of manufacturing in GDP from 16% to 25%,” he said. The government, he said, has approved a strategic partnership in defence between Indian and foreign companies.