NEW DELHI :
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India and Russia were keen to diversify and further strengthen bilateral ties, which had so far been largely focused on defence and civil nuclear energy cooperation.
In his departure statement, ahead of his two-day visit to Vladivostok, Modi said he looked “forward to discussing with my friend President Putin the entire gamut of our bilateral partnership, as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest".
There are two components to Modi’s visit to Vladivostok. The first is to hold the 20th India-Russia annual summit with Putin. Both sides are expected to come up with a five-year road map on energy cooperation, including buying of assets as well as exploration, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said.
“Our two countries enjoy excellent relations, based on the strong foundation of our special and privileged strategic partnership. Both countries cooperate extensively in the strategic fields of defence, civil nuclear energy and peaceful uses of space. We have robust and growing trade and investment relations," Modi added.
The second component of Modi’s visit is to attend the fifth Eastern Economic Forum as chief guest.
Modi’s visit to the Russian Far East will be the first by an Indian Prime Minister. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad will also attend the event.
“I also look forward to meeting other global leaders attending the Eastern Economic Forum, and interacting with Indian industry and business representatives participating in it," Modi said.
The forum focuses on development of business and investment opportunities in the Russian Far East Region, and presents enormous potential for developing close and mutually beneficial cooperation between India and Russia in the region, the PM added.