Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met today in Goa ahead of BRICS Summit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the eighth BRICS Summit in Goa.Following is the full text of the joint statement:
India-Russia Joint Statement during the Visit of President of the Russia to India: Partnership for Global Peace and Stability
October 15, 2016
President of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Vladimir V. Putin and Prime Minister of the Republic of India, H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi met today in Goa, during an official visit of the Russian President to India for the 17th India-Russia Annual Summit. The Leaders reviewed the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia that is rooted in longstanding mutual trust, characterized by unmatched reciprocal support to each other's core interests and unique people-to-people affinities. They pledged to pursue new opportunities to take the economic ties to unprecedented heights, achieve sustainable development, promote peace and security at home and around the world, strengthen inclusive and transparent global governance, and provide global leadership on issues of shared interest.
Acknowledging Russia's crucial contributions to India's industrial development and technological advancement and defence needs since the second half of the last century, Prime Minister Modi reiterated that Russia will remain India's major defence and strategic partner, and the enduring partnership between them is an anchor of peace and stability in a changing world order. President Putin reaffirmed Russia's continued commitment to the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership with India and noted the commonality of positions of both the countries on such issues as war on terrorism. Indian Side expressed its appreciation for Russia's unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist attack on army base in Uri.
Follow-Up on the previous Summits
The Leaders welcomed the significant progress made in bilateral relations since 2014, pursuant to the roadmaps set out in the Joint Statements issued during President Putin's visit to India in December 2014 and Prime Minister Modi's visit to Russia in December 2015. They expressed satisfaction at continued bilateral exchanges including high-level visits, institutional exchanges and other contacts over the past year that had further strengthened the India-Russia strategic partnership.
The Leaders recognized the need to constantly reinvent methodologies to realize the target set at the Annual Summit in December 2014, to increase annual bilateral trade and investment and committed to working towards the objective. They re-emphasized the need for continued facilitation by both governments based on regular consultations within the framework of institutional mechanisms as well as speedy implementation of decisions. Acknowledging that liberalization of the travel regime for the businessmen of both States, strengthening of new Transport Corridors, etc. are important steps in this direction, the Sides called for their timely and effective implementation.
The Sides welcomed the outcomes of the 22nd meeting of the Indian-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation held in New Delhi on 13 September 2016 and called for early finalization of new proposals identified during the IGC. Both Sides reiterated their commitment to further easing of business. They further noted the creation of bilateral investment fund by National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) of India with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to facilitate high-technology investments in Russia and India. The Sides particularly welcomed the recent investment by India in the Russian oil sector and called on companies in both countries to finalize new and ambitious investment proposals in similar promising sectors such as pharmaceuticals, chemical industry, mining, machine building, implementation of infrastructure projects, cooperation in railway sector, fertilizer production, automobiles and aircraft construction as well as collaborative ventures in modernizing each other's industrial facilities. The Sides favourably assessed the ongoing cooperation between the railway organizations of the two countries and urged them to intensify it further.
They welcomed enhanced interactions between representatives of the business community of India and Russia including the CEOs level interaction particularly during large trade and business events in 2016 such as the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (June 16-18), attended by Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, International Industrial Exhibition INNOPROM (July 11-14), attended by Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry, as well as Chief Ministers of the Indian states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and the Eastern Economic Forum (September 2-3). They called for continuation of such interactions and noted that India's participation as a partner country in INNOPROM-2016 highlighted the INNOPROM as one of the most representative among international events in the field of industry, scientific and technological innovations. Both Sides noted with satisfaction successful visit of the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov leading a business delegation to the states of Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and New Delhi from October 11-14, 2016 and noted huge potential for intensification of the Indian-Russian industrial collaboration. The Indian Side welcomed Russia's scheduled participation as partner country in International Engineering Sourcing Show 2017 in India underlining it would impart added momentum to bilateral economic links. Russia welcomed intentions of the Government of India to focus on the opportunities in the Far East of the Russian Federation, participate enthusiastically in the Eastern Economic Forum in 2017, organize a roundtable between the Governors of the Far East Regions of the Russian Federation and the Chief Ministers of different States of India, explore trade and investment opportunities in the agriculture, mining, shipping etc.
Both Sides welcomed initiatives to promote direct trade in diamonds between India and Russia and gave positive evaluation of the work of the Special Notified Zone (SNZ) at the Bharat Diamond Bourse, noting active support of this project from PJSC ALROSA, i.e. through holding regular rough diamond viewing. The Sides noted the latest increase in the number of Indian resident companies signing long-term rough diamonds supply contracts with PJSC ALROSA, and emphasized the importance of further development of mechanisms and terms of work in the SNZ with the aim of strengthening bilateral diamond trade.
Positively evaluating the initiatives like agreement of phytosanitary and veterinary authorities of both countries on mutual market access for agricultural and processed food products, including dairy products and bovine meat, the Sides agreed to continue ongoing consultations between their regulatory authorities and introduce measures to widen the range of such products for bilateral trade.
Both Sides welcomed progress in the implementation of Green Corridor project in accordance with the Protocol between the Central Board of Excise & Customs of India and the Federal Customs Service of Russia on Cooperation in Exchange of Pre-arrival information for Facilitation of Trade and Customs Control on Goods and Vehicles moved between the two countries. Since the signing of the Protocol on 6th April, 2015, the Customs administrations on both sides have resolved complex technical issues and have successfully given effect to a real-time pre-arrival exchange of information based on customs export declarations, paving the way to boost bilateral trade.
The Sides noted the progress in the work of the Joint Study Group to consider the feasibility of a free trade agreement between the Republic of India and the Eurasian Economic Union.
Taking into account the important role of banks in settlement of trade, the Sides expressed hope for the enhancement by commercial banks of the two countries of their partnership, including through the development of correspondent relations and increase in lending limits. The Sides welcomed the elevation of the Sub-Group on Banking and Financial Matters into the Working Group on Banking and Financial Matters and its broadened scope including additional issues of Indian-Russian cooperation in the insurance sphere.
Recognizing the vital role played by connectivity in increasing trade between the two countries, the Leaders welcomed the increased emphasis on implementation of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), which can play a key role in promoting economic integration in the region through reduction of time taken for the transit of goods. They also welcomed increased interaction between Indian and Russian customs authorities under the framework of INSTC.
India-Russia "Energy Bridge"
Both Sides noted with satisfaction that robust civil nuclear cooperation, collaboration in hydrocarbon sphere, long term LNG sourcing interest, work on the hydrocarbon energy pipeline and cooperation in renewable energy sector constitute a promising "Energy Bridge" between the two countries.
The Sides affirmed that their successful nuclear energy cooperation, which has already started generating electricity at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, is one of the most tangible and substantive aspects of their strategic partnership. The Sides reaffirm their intention to further expand cooperation under the "Strategic Vision to Strengthen Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India" signed on December 11, 2014. In this context they noted with satisfaction a series of positive developments marked in their civil nuclear cooperation this year, including attainment of full power capacity of Kudankulam Unit 1, integration with electricity grid of Kudankulam Unit 2, commencement of the site work for Kudankulam Units 3 and 4, and the progress in discussions on the General Framework Agreement and the Credit Protocol for Kudankulam Units 5 and 6 with a view to conclude these documents before the end of 2016. Following the dedication of Kudankulam Unit-1 by Prime Minister Modi and President Putin on August 10, 2016, both leaders jointly dedicated Unit 2 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to "India-Russia Friendship and Cooperation" and witnessed the laying of foundation concrete for Kudankulam Units 3 and 4 through video-links at a ceremony in Goa.
The Indian Side stated it is working towards early allocation of the second site for the construction of the Russian-designed NPP. Both Sides appreciated the progress being made in the implementation of the Programme of Action for Localization between Russia's Rosatom and India's Department of Atomic Energy with active engagement of Indian nuclear manufacturing industry for local manufacturing in India of equipment and components for upcoming and future Russian-designed nuclear power projects in the context of the serial construction in India of Russian-designed Units. They noted with satisfaction continued senior official level interactions between their atomic energy establishments, including under the framework of the three Joint Working Groups on Nuclear Fuel, Science and Technology and Nuclear Power, and the Central Working Group on Localization set up during the last two Summits. The Indian Side also congratulated the Russian Side for successfully hosting the ATOMEXPO in May 2016, which was attended by senior Indian officials and nuclear industry representatives from both public and private sectors of India.
The Leaders of both countries highly appreciated the progress made by Indian and Russian oil companies since the last Summit with the Indian companies acquiring equity in "Tass-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha" and "Vankorneft" making it the largest equity oil acquisition hitherto by India. With the aim of further strengthening oil and gas cooperation the Russian Side expressed its interest in attracting Indian oil companies to participate in joint projects in the offshore-Arctic fields of the Russian Federation. The two Sides supported a wider use of natural gas as an economically efficient and ecologically clean fuel to promote sustainable development as well as to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Both Sides reaffirmed their continued commitment to work together towards development of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. In this context, they expressed readiness to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation in the field of solar energy under the MoU signed on 24 December, 2015 between the Russian Energy Agency of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Solar Energy Corporation of the Republic of India on building solar power-stations in India.
The Sides emphasized the need to provide assistance to the power sector companies of both countries in the development of cooperation in the sphere of modernization of existing power plants and construction of new power plants in India.
Cooperation among States of India and Regions of Russia
Given the immense potential for inter-regional cooperation which will bolster bilateral relationship, the Sides agreed to promote further strengthening and increasing the effectiveness of our bilateral inter-regional cooperation. Recalling the Joint Statement of December 11, 2014, the Sides welcomed the signing of the MoI between Maharashtra and Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Ugra and between Maharashtra and Sverdlovsk Region. They also encouraged their other regions and states to similarly enter into cooperative arrangements to mutual benefit. The Sides further committed themselves to mark the 50th anniversary of establishment of Sister-City relationship between Mumbai and Saint Petersburg, through yearlong celebrations in 2017.
Enhancing Science, Health, Technology and Education Links
The Leaders noted with satisfaction strengthening of bilateral scientific cooperation programme, in both basic and applied sciences, in such fields as Material Science, Information & Communication Technologies, Biotechnologies, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc. The Sides observed the positive dynamics in the development of scientific and technical ties between the states and regions of India and Russia. The Sides welcomed Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India and the FASО of Russia on further development of bilateral interaction in scientific and technical sphere and in the field of innovations.
The Sides noted the expansion of cooperation in the field of education. The Russian Academia has been getting more and more actively involved in the programme of academic mobility launched by the Government of India and called the Global Initiative for Academics Network, the large number of applications from Russian professors being its proof. The Sides agreed to carry forward cooperation under this initiative. Educational cooperation between India and Russia received institutional support with the creation of the Network of Russian and Indian Universities (RIN) established under the Declaration signed in Moscow on May 8, 2015 by representatives of 9 Indian and 21 Russian institutions of higher education in the presence of the President of the Republic of India H.E. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee and Minister of Science and Technology of the Russian Federation Mr. Dmitry V.Livanov. The Sides noted the RIN's intensive activity in promoting exchanges of students and faculty, development of curriculum, creation of joint laboratories, organization of scientific conferences and seminars as well as conducting joint scientific research and collaboration in commercialization of technologies developed in research institutions. The Sides called for sustained efforts for the expansion of the list of universities participating from both countries in the RIN.
The Sides expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved in the MoU signed in December 2015 between Centre for Development of Advance Computing (CDAC), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) for cooperation in high performance computing (HPC). The Indian Side conveyed its interest in expanding this cooperation with the Russian Side in a number of activities in supercomputing beyond envisaged in the MoU.
The Sides took note of the interaction in the field of mathematics and successful hosting of the 2nd Indian-Russian Joint Conference in Statistics and Probability in Saint Petersburg in May-June 2016, and pointed out the necessity to further enhance cooperation in this area.
Recognizing the importance of the Arctic and given that Russia is a member of the Arctic Council and India is an observer since May 2013, the Sides agreed to facilitate scientific cooperation to study the challenges (like melting ice, climate change, marine life and biodiversity), facing the rapidly changing Arctic region.
The Sides welcomed interaction between India and Russia in the field of modern phytogenetics, which serves as the most important source of knowledge and constructive solutions for the provision of food security, and success of the First International Scientific Symposium "Genetics and genomics of plants for food security" in Novosibirsk in August 2016, as well as underlined the necessity of further enhancement of cooperation in this field.
Welcoming the declaration of June 21 as International Day of Yoga and noting successful organization of Yoga events in the year 2016, the Sides agreed to cooperate for promoting health and fitness through traditional Indian forms of Yoga and Ayurveda. The Sides will explore possibility of mutual cooperation in formulation of curriculum for Ayurvedic studies and development of regulations for quality control of Ayurvedic practices and medicines in Russia.
The Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to pursue the immense potential to cooperate in outer space with a view to advance socially useful applications and scientific knowledge. They welcomed signing of a MoU for setting up and utilizing ground stations in each other's territories to enhance the usefulness of their respective navigation satellite constellations of GLONASS and NavIC. The Sides emphasized that the space agencies of India and Russia will engage more actively on space technology applications, launch vehicle, satellite navigation, space science and planetary exploration. The Sides also confirmed their commitment to elaborate within the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on Space a consolidated approach to the preparation of the set of guidelines for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and regulatory provisions on safety of space operations, as the most important component of the said document.
Recognizing the contribution of military-technical cooperation in the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries, the Leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to continue their cooperation in this field. In this context, they commended the activities of the Indian-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation.
The Sides expressed satisfaction at joint Indian-Russian exercises INDRA involving ground forces in Russia's Far East in 2016. They welcomed the visit of the Indian Minister of State for Defence in April 2016 and delegation of the National Defence College in May-June 2016 to Moscow. They underlined the need to expand training, joint exercises and institutionalized interactions between the Armed Forces of both countries.
The Sides noted with satisfaction achievements in the field of joint design, development and production of high-technology military equipment and in this context, positively evaluated the establishment of the Joint Venture for production of Ka-226T helicopters in India.
Both Sides welcomed plans to hold Indo-Russian military industrial conference later in 2016 and create bilateral Science & Technology Committee. The Indo-Russian Military industrial Conference will address military equipment related issues including spares, repair and maintenance of Russian supplied equipment and co-production. Private players too would be invited to participate under Make in India initiative. The Bilateral Science & Technology Committee would focus on matters relating to R&D collaboration in such high-tech areas as IT, communication, cyber security, medical engineering, outer space cooperation, remote sensing, etc.
Security and Disaster Management
Recognizing the need for sustained and institutionalized interactions to foster greater security-related and disaster management cooperation, the Sides noted the successful visit of Russian Minister for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters Vladimir Puchkov to India in March 2016, during which they held the first meeting of the Joint Commission on cooperation in the field of prevention and elimination of emergencies and signing of the Joint Implementation Plan for the years 2016-2017.
Recalling the visit of Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev to India in September 2015, the Sides reaffirmed their intention to finalize an Agreement on Cooperation between the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and a Joint Action Plan between the Narcotics Control Bureau of the Republic of India and the Ministry of the Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, which would provide an enabling framework to further develop ongoing inter-ministerial interactions for exchange of best practices and expertise, conducting training courses in countering extremism and drug-trafficking.
Culture, Tourism and People-to-People Ties
The Sides reaffirmed their interest in the early signing of a Cultural Exchange Programme for the years 2016-2018 between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and confirmed their interest in intensifying cultural cooperation, including between academic and research organizations of the two countries acting in the field of culture and arts. Noting the success of the Festival of Russian Culture in 2016, it was decided to have the Festival of Indian Culture in Russia in 2017.
The Sides appreciated the agreement reached by the Joint Working Group on culture and tourism in New Delhi in September 2016 on developing direct contacts between state institutions of the two countries in the field of culture and tourism.
The Sides welcomed steps aimed at concluding the Agreement to implement the decision to facilitate visa free entry, stay and exit of crew of aircraft of the designated aircraft companies as well as other aircraft companies performing charter and special flights in the respective territories of their countries on reciprocal basis.
The Sides agreed to work towards further simplification and liberalization of visa arrangements, and promote group tourist travel to enhance people-to-people contacts.
The Sides noted the importance of interaction on issues related to migration and agreed to work towards improving the legal framework of cooperation in that sphere, in particular on the issuance of work permits and temporary residency permits for Indian nationals working in Russia through continued dialogue on these issues.
The two Sides expressed satisfaction with the pace of the implementation of the Treaty on Transfer of Sentenced Persons between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation which came into force in March 2015 and expressed hope that further results would be achieved in the coming times with the implementation of the bilateral Treaty on Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
The Sides expressed intention to exert efforts in order to strengthen cooperation in the consular sphere, including an exchange of experience in defending its citizens' and juridical entities' rights and interests in the territory of the state of residence, and to provide possible assistance to the consular missions of the state represented.
Recognizing the role of cinema in promoting understanding and good will at people-to-people level, the two Sides expressed satisfaction on organization of Indian Film Festival in Moscow and Russian Film Festival in Mumbai in 2016. They agreed to deepen and expand the scope of India-Russia cooperation in the field of cinema by supporting interaction between film organizations and exploring possibilities of concluding audio-video coproduction agreement between the two countries.
Realizing the immense potential for collaboration in tourism sector and with an aim to encourage closer cooperation between tourism agencies of the two countries, the Sides agreed to celebrate 2018 as 'Year of Tourism between India and Russia'. They encouraged further collaboration between Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of India and Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation in enhancing bilateral cooperation, including establishment of direct links and contacts between Indian and Russian tourist associations, organizations, enterprises and companies.
70th Anniversary Celebrations of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations
The leaders called for grand celebrations in 2017 to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Russia. They asked the concerned ministries and agencies to organize celebrations depicting width and depth of multi-faceted relations that the countries have spanning diverse fields including political, defence, energy, trade, economy, finance, investment, culture, education, think-tanks, science and technology, sports, youth, tourism, people-to-people etc. They welcomed elaboration of an Action plan towards this goal.
Global Order and World Peace
Recognizing the importance of cooperation between India and Russia for global peace and stability, both Sides reaffirmed their desire to work together to promote a multi-polar international system based on the central role of the United Nations and international law, common interests, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of countries.
India and Russia called for comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council to make it more effective and representative of the contemporary geo-political realities. Russia reaffirmed its support for India's candidature for a permanent membership of a reformed and expanded UN Security Council.
The Indian Side highly appreciated the role played by Russia in India's accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The Leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Obligations at the SCO Summit in Tashkent on 24 June 2016 and reaffirmed the intention of both countries to work together closely in order to enhance the SCO's efficiency and performance in various spheres.
The Leaders expressed satisfaction over the development of cooperation in the BRICS grouping and underlined the importance of further strengthening BRICS strategic partnership guided by principles of openness, solidarity, equality, mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation. They appreciated India's BRICS Chairmanship and good pace of implementation and expansion of BRICS cooperation agenda. They noted the intensification and diversification of cooperation between BRICS countries and lauded the outcomes of the meetings of BRICS NSAs, Ministers of Agriculture; Disaster Management; Education; Finance; Labour & Employment; Science, Technology and Innovation; and Trade in 2016 and looked forward to positive outcomes of meetings of Ministers of Health and Telecommunications. The Leaders expressed satisfaction at the momentum generated by the BRICS Business Council Meetings in 2016. They welcomed the progress in the functioning of the New Development Bank and its decision to disburse the first set of loans for projects in the area of green and renewable energy. Russia applauded the focus on enhancing people-to-people contacts during India's BRICS Chairmanship and organisation of events like BRICS Film Festival, BRICS Under-17 Football Tournament, BRICS Convention on Tourism, etc. and promised full support to India's efforts in ensuring the continuity and further development of BRICS activities during its Chairmanship in 2016. The Sides also highly praised customs cooperation within BRICS, including efforts to establish its Customs Cooperation Committee and to create a legal basis for interaction and mutual assistance on customs matters.
The Leaders expressed satisfaction over the development of BRICS economic cooperation. They appreciated the progress in the implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership adopted at the Ufa Summit in July 2015. The Russian Side commended the Indian Side for continuity in the realization of the main initiatives launched under Russian Presidency in BRICS such as e-commerce, "single window", intellectual property rights cooperation, trade promotion and micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) cooperation. The Sides also agreed to broaden cooperation through joint promotion of the Indian initiatives on eliminating non-tariff barriers in trade, increasing trade in services and structuring support and development of MSMEs in the BRICS format. The Russian side also appreciated the organisation of the 1st BRICS Trade Fair in New Delhi to further consolidate trade ties among BRICS countries. They also underlined the importance of the implementation of the BRICS Roadmap for Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation until 2020 submitted by the Russian Side in 2015. It was agreed that close cooperation among the BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues, the BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank is crucial to enhance the BRICS economic partnership.
Having stressed the importance of cooperation between Russia, India and China (RIC) the Leaders welcomed the outcomes of the RIC Ministerial Meeting in Moscow on 18 April, 2016 as a tangible contribution to deepening mutual trust and coordination on international and regional issues. Both Sides reaffirmed their desire to further strengthen interaction in the trilateral format in order to jointly counter new challenges and threats.
The Leaders expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and recognized the need for resolute action against the menace of terrorism and threats of illicit drug-production and drug-trafficking, including the elimination of terror sanctuaries, safe havens, and other forms of support to terrorists. Both Sides called for constructive international, regional and bilateral cooperation in order to help Afghanistan in addressing the domestic security situation, improving the capabilities of Afghan National Security Forces, strengthening counter-narcotics capabilities, ensuring socio-economic development, and enhancing connectivity. India and Russia reiterated their support for Afghan government's efforts towards the realization of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national reconciliation process based upon the principles of international law.
The Leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and emphasized the necessity of comprehensive international collaboration in order to ensure its eradication. India and Russia recognize the threat posed by terrorism, and believe that the full implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy without application of any double standards or selectivity will be instrumental in countering this challenge. They stressed the need to deny safe havens to terrorists and the importance of countering the spread of terrorist ideology as well as radicalization leading to terrorism, stopping recruitment, preventing travel of terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters, strengthening border management and having effective legal assistance and extradition arrangements. Furthermore, stressing the need to have a strong international legal regime built on the principle of 'zero tolerance for direct or indirect support of terrorism', both Sides called upon the international community to make sincere efforts towards the earliest conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).
Both Sides recognized that the rapidly expanding role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has led to the development of certain security vulnerabilities which need to be addressed through the development of universally applicable rules for responsible behaviour of states which should ensure the safe and sustainable use of ICTs. The Leaders reaffirmed the need to deepen bilateral cooperation in this field and welcomed the conclusion of the Indian-Russian Inter-Governmental Agreement for Cooperation in this regard.
Both Sides expressed concern over the continuing instability in South-Eastern Ukraine and supported a political and negotiated settlement of the issue through the complete implementation of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of Minsk Agreements of February 12, 2015.
The two Sides are convinced that the conflict in Syria should be peacefully resolved through comprehensive and inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue based on the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012, and relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Both Sides underlined the necessity of strengthening the cessation of hostilities, delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged areas, and the continuation of intra-Syrian dialogue under UN supervision. India recognized Russian Side's effort towards achieving a political and negotiated settlement of the situation in Syria.
The Sides reaffirmed that they have a common interest in preventing the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and in strengthening the multilateral export control regimes. A responsible approach to disarmament and non-proliferation is demonstrated by India and Russia's constructive participation in relevant international fora such as the Conference on Disarmament, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, etc. Both Sides reiterated their desire to strengthen interaction and coordination of views on these issues. Russia welcomed India's accession to the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation and the Missile Technology Control Regime. Russia is convinced that India's participation will strengthen the international export control regimes and in this regard welcomed India's application for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), reiterating its strong support for India's early entry into the NSG. Russia also supported India's interest in full membership in the Wasseanaar Arrangement.
The Leaders stressed upon the need for preventing the weaponization of space. They noted the convergence of their interests in ensuring peaceful and sustainable uses of outer space and reaffirmed their commitment towards working together in relevant international fora such as the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and the UN General Assembly First Committee in New York to promote these common interests. The Sides also called for conclusion of a legally binding international agreement for the prevention of weaponization of outer space at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
The Sides reiterated their desire to further strengthen their consultations and coordination in various international organizations such as the Group of Twenty (G-20), East Asia Summits, Asia-Europe Meeting, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue. India and Russia expressed satisfaction over the outcomes of the G-20 Summit held in Hangzhou in September 2016 and highlighted the significance of joint efforts in the G-20 for encouraging global economic growth, ensuring a stable international financial system, improving global economic governance and accelerating structural reforms. Russia reiterated its support for India's application to join APEC and committed to work closely with India. The Sides reiterated their commitment to further jointly promote coordination and cooperation aimed at maintaining lasting peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region. They supported the development of an open, inclusive and transparent security and cooperation architecture in the region on the basis of universally recognized principles of international law. In this regard they confirmed their commitment towards continued discussion on regional security architecture in the Asia Pacific under the framework of the East Asia Summit.
Acknowledging the unique nature of strategic partnership between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation, the Leaders agreed to diversify stakeholders and further strengthen the existing mechanisms of cooperation to propel India-Russia partnership to a level that meets the aspirations of their people.