New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India and Russia were both keen to diversify and further strengthen bilateral ties that have so far been largely focussed on defence and civil nuclear energy co-operation.
In his departure statement ahead of his two-day visit to Vladivostok, Modi also 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 being to hold the 20th India-Russia annual Summit with Putin. One of the main takeaways expected from the summit is both sides coming out with a five-year roadmap on energy co-operation. This would include buying of assets as well as exploration, Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said on Monday.
“Our two countries enjoy excellent relations, based on the strong foundation of our special and privileged strategic partnership. Both countries co-operate 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 said.
The second component of Modi's visit is his attendance as chief guest at the fifth Eastern Economic Forum. Modi’s visit to the Russian Far East is the first by an Indian Prime Minister. Besides Modi, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammed are also due to 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 co-operation between India and Russia in the region, Modi noted.