20th anniversary of Indo-Russian Friendship Treaty observed in Delhi

Participants of the seminar Russian-Indian Relations: Achievements and  Perspectives”. Source: RCSC New Delhi

Participants of the seminar Russian-Indian Relations: Achievements and Perspectives”. Source: RCSC New Delhi

The Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was signed by Russia and India on January 3, 1993.

On September 9, the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in New Delhi (RCSC) jointly with the Indian Association of Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Russian Embassy in India held a seminar titled “Russian-Indian Relations: Achievements and Perspectives,” which was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the Russia and India.

The programme’s participants included Indian diplomats, political scientists and representatives of socio-political and scientific communities from different regions of India, including Delhi, Punjab and Kashmir.

Denis Alipov, Charge d'Affaires of Russia in India, noted the historical continuity of the treaty, which preserved basic provisions and the spirit of friendship and understanding inherent in the Soviet-Indian agreement of 1971. He said that the foundation of strong bilateral relations lay within the common values: commitment to democratic ideals, inviolability of sovereignty, mutual understanding and respect. Alipov also stressed that Russia and India always share views on key international issues, quoting Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, who highlighted the strong and consistent position of India on the Syrian issue.

Speech by Charge d'Affaires of Russia in India Mr. Denis Alipov. Source: RCSC New Delhi

The Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, signed by the Russian Federation and the Republic of India on January 3, 1993 was the fundamental international legal document of the Russian-Indian cooperation, Fedor Rozovskiy, Director of the RCSC said. The treaty also provided the solid foundation for the basic bilateral political document: the Declaration on Strategic Partnership, signed on October 3, 2000 in Delhi during the visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to India.

Former Foreign Secretary of India and Ambassador to Russia Kanwal Sibal, the main speaker from the Indian side stressed that responsible commitment has always been the basis of Russian-Indian relations. “It is important to be sure that you can rely on your partner, this is the main characteristic of partnership – reliability,” Sibal said.

Speech by Mr. Kanwal Sibal. Source: RCSC New Delhi

According to former foreign secretary, the most important part of the Russian-Indian relations is defence cooperation. Its depth and scale is manifested by the fact that Russia has leased the Nerpa or Chakra nuclear submarine to India for 10 years. “I cannot think of any country that would have leased us a nuclear submarine,” Sibal said, recalling that Russia and India are developing large-scale joint projects for the development of fifth generation fighter aircraft and multipurpose transport aircraft (MTA).

The participants also discussed increasing Russian investments to India, strengthening of the public diplomacy and the encouraging growth in the number of Indian students going to study in Russian universities. The panelists, however, agreed that the potential of the Russian-Indian privileged strategic partnership in these areas is far from exhausted, and the two countries should continue to exert concerted efforts for their further sustainable development.

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