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India, Russia for meeting challenges of nuke proliferation

India, Russia for meeting challenges of nuke proliferation

Moscow: India and Russia have flagged the urgent need to squarely meet the challenges posed by proliferation of nuclear weapons and its possible link to terrorism.

The two countries warned how the possibility of atomic weapons falling into the hands of rogue elements posed a threat to international peace and security and undermined security of states.

No country was specifically mentioned but Russian President Dmitry Medvedv said yesterday after talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that Russia was concerned over the possibility of atomic assets coming under the control of rogue elements in Pakistan.

In a joint declaration after summit talks between Singh and Medvedev, the two countries said this also complicated progress towards nuclear disarmament and may negatively affect prospects for wider international cooperation in the sphere of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Addressing a joint press conference with Singh after summit-level talks, Medvedev said terrorism was no doubt a “terrible evil" of this century and last century, and the safety of nuclear weapons was a “sensitive issue".

“There is a need to ensure that nuclear assets are in safe hands and do not fall into the hands of extremists," he said in an apparent reference to the situation in Pakistan in the backdrop of reports of a threat of terror elements taking control of the country’s atomic assets.

The two countries also pledged to work for global non-proliferation.

During discussions on regional issues at the one-on-one meeting and at the delegation level talks, Singh said India and Russia have agreed to enhance their cooperation to meet the grave challenges of terrorism and religious extremism that emanate from “our region and threaten both our societies."

“Both India and Russia have an interest in a stable, prosperous and moderate Afghanistan, and we have agreed to regularly consult each other on the important issue," he said.

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