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September 26, 2018
The Kabul Times
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New Delhi attaches ‘highest importance’ to ties with Moscow: Indian FM

Senior Indian and Russian officials have discussed ways to develop trade ties and remove barriers in investment, science and technology as well as other issues of mutual interests.

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov held talks over bilateral matters during the 23rd Inter Governmental Commission (IGC) in Moscow on Friday.

“India and Russia enjoy a special and privileged strategic partnership,” Swaraj said in a statement after the meeting. “This partnership has strengthened over time and covers a vast agenda involving almost all sphere of human activity. India attaches the highest importance to its relations with Russia.”

The commission has met in the run up to the 19th India-Russia Annual Summit which is expected to be held in India early next month. Russian President Vladimir Putin is to visit India for the summit and meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The Deputy Prime Minister and I have conducted a comprehensive review of our relations. I am satisfied with the outcomes of our meeting,” Swaraj said.

“I am confident that our deliberations today will further strengthen our cooperation with Russia in all fields in existing and new areas of cooperation,” the minister added.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed ways to enhance bilateral trade which in 2017 reached $10.17 billion.

“We discussed ways and means to increase this momentum, ensure balanced trade, and remove barriers to trade,” Swaraj said. “Two-way investments have already crossed the $30 billion target, which we had set for 2025. We have therefore proposed that we enhance this figure to $50 billion by 2025.”

Swaraj went on to say that the two sides had identified new areas of cooperation in agriculture, infrastructure, transport, space and Science and Technology, and discussed the possibilities of working together on projects in third countries as a new dimension of strategic partnership.

AP

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