Do you feel the 14th annual Indo-Russian Summit can be classified as a success?
The joint statement of the President of Russia and the Prime Minister of India is a remarkable document even for an amateur in the field of international relations and world politics. Sixty-four positions that are included in the statement demonstrate the diversity and the depth of the palette of our bilateral relations, our privileged strategic partnership.
In my opinion, this Statement reflects a full concordance or an extreme closeness of the positions of two great countries, two spiritually close civilizations, regarding the entire gamut of today's most complex international problems. The peoples of Russia and India can be proud of their countries’ and their political leaders’ commitment to the high principles regarding the international law – sovereignty and indivisibility of peace, solving the most complex problems by using measures that exclude military intervention .
How do you view the attempts to boost trade between the countries?
The meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation held on October 4 on the eve of the summit, was a forum that defined a road map of our cooperation in specific areas, defining the foundation of our interstate relations. However, to my great regret, the process of creating a real foundation for this relationship does not involve normal private enterprises.
When it comes to example of private enterprises being involved in mutually beneficial businesses, Sistema and our steel giant Severstal stand out as examples. There were problems for these companies as well, which had more to do with India’s domestic politics and this is an election year.
Nevertheless, I am convinced that the two governments and, of course , such proactive and competent ministers, as Denis Manturov and Anand Sharma, will do everything possible to encourage Russian and Indian businessmen to establish business cooperation.
At times there are issues and actions arising because of Indian and Russian bureaucracy not only in the public sector, but also in the private sector, where Russian companies are taken off from tenders and contracts without explanation.
For me personally, the confusion of the Indian state-owned BHEL is quite understandable. Our Power Machines stopped cooperating with them. Take the case of the private Indian company Transstroy (India) Ltd: The Russian partners not only broke their contract, but also refused to meet their leaders, who specially arrived in Moscow to hold a direct and frank conversation.
There has been a solid growth in bilateral trade…
I am not really focusing on the figures of our goods turnover, although the $20 billion trade target for 2015 does not make me feel any other emotion apart from shame. Above all, I am concerned with the quality of this trade, and, more specifically, the problem of mutual investments in high-tech industries. How to commercialize the intellectual achievements of Russian programmers, the best in the world, and their technologies in India, which is the largest software exporter in the world?
The key to removing obstacles in the development of our strategic partnership, which is one of the most precious in world of politics, is trust, something that can be found in many fields of Russian-Indian cooperation.
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