22 December, 1998
Indo-Russian Press Statement
The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, His Excellency Mr.Yevgeny M. Primakov, paid an official visit to India from 20-22 December 1998. The visit marked a continuation of the long-standing tradition of high level bilateral exchanges between India and the Russian Federation.
During the visit, H.E. Mr.Primakov called on the President of India, Shri K.R. Narayanan, the Vice President of India, Shri Krishan Kant, and held in-depth talks with the Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Meetings with other high Indian dignitaries were also held. The discussions were held in the warm and friendly atmosphere traditional to such Indo-Russian exchanges.
Both Sides expressed satisfaction that Indo-Russian bilateral cooperation was proceeding well in all spheres. They agreed to identify new ways to jointly exploit the tremendous capabilities, including scientific, technical and industrial skills, available in India and Russia. It was also agreed to jointly exploit the new opportunities emerging from economic changes underway in both countries. The determination to impart a qualitatively new character and long-term perspective to their multifaceted ties and actively develop them into the 21st century was reaffirmed.
The Sides intend to move towards strategic partnership, which will be confirmed during their next Summit level meeting by the signing of the Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation. This would mark a new step forward in the elaboration of the principles contained in the bilateral Treaties of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation of 9 August 1971, of Friendship and Cooperation of 28 January 1993, the Declaration on further Development and Enhancement of Cooperation of 30 June 1994 and the Moscow Declaration on the Protection of Interests of Pluralistic States of 30 June 1994. This political document of paramount importance will set new parameters and guide the further development of the close partnership between India and Russia.
The Sides expressed deep satisfaction over the outcome of the 5th Session of the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation, held in Moscow from 26-28 November 1998. While appreciating the growth of Indo-Russian trade in 1997-98, it was hoped that the implementation of long-term bilateral trading arrangements in jointly identified items would lend stability to bilateral trade and encourage its growth on a sustained basis. The Sides agreed to make concerted efforts to significantly increase trade in the years ahead.
The Sides expressed particular satisfaction that cooperation was progressing well in such fields as power, oil and natural gas, coal, steel and transport, and agreed to further strengthen it to mutual benefit.
It was noted that wide-ranging and multifaceted cooperation in science and technology continued to show excellent progress. The Sides agreed to focus efforts on commercially exploiting the achievements of joint research in science and technology.
The Sides expressed satisfaction over their continuing cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy.
Acknowledging the importance of people-to-people contacts and expressing satisfaction at the present level of Indo-Russian cultural exchanges, the Sides agreed to further intensify such cooperation.
Satisfaction was expressed over the progress in broad, mutually beneficial military-technical cooperation during recent years, which has good prospects.
The following bilateral documents were signed during the visit: Extradition Treaty, Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Consular Convention, Long term Agreement on Military-Technical Cooperation upto the year 2010, Joint Document on Development of Trade, Economic, Industrial, Financial, Science and Techonology Cooperation, Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Communications, Air Transport Agreement. The Sides expressed the confidence that their signing would further reinforce the framework of their cooperative ties in the concerned fields.
While reiterating their commitment to the ideals of peace, democracy, rule of law, non-violence and secularism, the Sides proceed from the understanding that it was necessary to create a multipolar world based on the sovereign equality of all states, democratic values and justice. They agreed to jointly contribute to securing international peace and security, the democratisation of international relations, as well as to the promotion of the establishment of a new, just and stable world order with a strengthened role for the UN and its specialized agencies.
During the talks, views were also exchanged on a wide range of important international issues of mutual interest. In these discussions both sides supported the process of nuclear non-proliferation. The discussions also demonstrated a convergence of views on international terrorism, illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and arms, as well as the situation in and around Afghanistan and other parts of the world, the Middle East Peace Process, Asia-Pacific problems.
Both sides expressed the view that the development of active and constructive bilateral relations between India, Russia, and other major countries of the Asia and Pacific region would contribute to stability and security.
The Russian side also reaffirmed its support for India's efforts to normalise relations with Pakistan on the basis of the 1972 Simla Agreement.
The Sides deplored the recent missile strikes against Iraq. They strongly urged resumption of diplomatic efforts under UN auspicies. The Sides noted that these actions had raised serious questions regarding the functioning of the collective and consultative procedures of the UN Security Council.
Acknowledging the important role of India and the Russian Federation in international affairs, the Sides agreed to maintain regular consultations on major foreign policy issues and initiatives.
The Sides agreed on the need to expand the UN Security Council to make it more representative and increase its effectiveness. Russia considers India, an influential member of the international community, to be a strong and appropriate candidate for permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council.
Both sides assess the talks held in New Delhi as an important and constructive stage in preparation for the next Indo-Russian summit in 1999.