Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 15
India and Russia today sought to revive an old friendship with mega defence deals and common concerns on terrorism. Welcoming Russian President Vladimir Putin in Goa for the BRICS Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke in Russian and said, “An old friend is better than two new friends.”
The PM went on to say that he and Putin “affirmed the need for zero tolerance in dealing with terrorists and their supporters”.
India has made it clear that it wants to use the BRICS forum as a platform to isolate Pakistan, without actually naming the country. After the Uri attacks of September 18, Russia was one of the few countries that issued a strong statement expressing solidarity with India. Modi today sought to build on that sentiment: “Russia’s clear stand on the need to combat terrorism mirrors our own. We deeply appreciate Russia’s understanding and support of our actions to fight cross-border terrorism, which threatens our entire region.”
Later, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said both leaders expressed the need to “deny safe havens to terrorists, counter the spread of terrorist ideology, prevent recruitment and travel of terrorists, strengthen border management and essentially have a legal regime built on the principle of zero tolerance for, or indirect support of, terrorism”.
Nuclear energy is another area where both countries took forward steps. Both leaders launched the second unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant and laid the foundation stone for parts 3 and 4 of the project via video-conferencing.
In another significant development, Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled oil group, took over Essar Oil in a deal estimated at $13 billion. In all, 16 agreements were signed.
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