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Russia says will not sell arms to Pakistan

New Delhi, Oct.15 (ANI): Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has said that his country will not be selling arms to Pakistan, as it did not want to create trouble for India in the region.

“We don’t do military business with your enemies. We don’t transfer any arms to them,” Rogozin said over the weekend.

The Russian leader was speaking ahead of a meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on trade, economic, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) which he and Indian External Affairs MInister S.M.Krishna chaired on Monday.

Rogozin was clearing the air on Russian engagements with Pakistan. Rogozin is in charge of Russia’s defence research organisation, and on Monday, he took up unresolved issues with Krishna, including nuclear liability, investment by the telecom company Sistema, besides touching on future areas of bilateral defence cooperation cooperation.

In Monday’s interaction between the Indian and Russian delegations, Krishna revealed that both sides had held wide-ranging and very substantive discussions.

He said that this was his third meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin in the last six months, adding that it reflected the attention Rogozin pays to relations with India.

Krishna further revealed in his statement to the media after the talks, that India’s relations with the Russian Federation are a key priority of Indian foreign policy.

“The Inter-Governmental Commission is the main mechanism that helps us to comprehensively review our special and privileged strategic partnership. We recognised that even though there has been a significant increase in bilateral trade of 38 percent in the first half of this year, our trade linkages have not kept pace with our cooperation in several strategic spheres,”the Indian External Affairs Minister said.

He said that both sides discussed their policy level concerns and willingness to facilitate greater exchanges between our businesses.

“We agreed to make greater efforts to stimulate trade with a resolve to overcome any hindrances at the governmental level,” Krishna said.

Welcoming Russia’s formal membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Krishna said that India hopes that this would result in greater trade and investment flows bilaterally.

“Our growing economy and major initiatives in terms of the national manufacturing policy and infrastructure development projects such as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor offer good prospects for Russian investors and businesses,” he claimed.

He said that he had informed Deputy Chairman Rogozin of the measures taken recently to liberalize foreign direct investment norms in prospective sectors of retail, civil aviation, telecommunication and insurance.

“We reviewed our robust collaboration in the field of science and technology and welcomed the operationalization of the offices of the India-Russia Joint Technology Centres in our two countries. We also emphasised on strengthening contacts in the IT and hydrocarbons sector. We see the energy sector as an important area for expansion of cooperation between our two countries,” the External Affairs Minister said.

Recalling the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on Modernization and Industrial Cooperation was held earlier in August this year, Krishna said that it is a promising new area where both countries can harness potential benefits based on strong and knowledge-based comparative advantages.

India, he said, welcomes the organization of the Festival of Russia in India and the ‘Days of Moscow’ in Delhi, to be held later this month.

“We envisage these as important events for deepening our people to people contacts and for mutual understanding,” Krishna said.

Krishna said that Monday’s meeting had laid the groundwork for the forthcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the 13th India-Russia Annual Summit.

Earlier on Sunday, Rogozin said the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) would be the ‘most reliable’ in the world because of its safety provisions.

“The power plant which is under construction in India will be the most reliable in the world. I am responsible for my words, because I am the head of the state corporation responsible for nuclear security, Rosatom,” Rogozin said.

“If there are several points which will require additional assurance of risks, of course it will require some additional money. We know that the timetable is very important, but we are sure that quality is of prime importance in this case. As for tests, the main problem resides in the equipment delivered by the third countries,” he said.

Rogozin also indicated that future negotiations in the contect of the KNPP would be tough, as Moscow did not want India’s civil nuclear liability laws to apply to plants three and four. (ANI)