India, Russia clinch 28 pacts, defence deals

India and Russia discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan, especially the security situation and its implications in the region, as they condemned the cross-border movement of terrorists and inked a deal for joint production of over six lakh AK-203 rifles in Uttar Pradesh.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held the 21st annual summit on December 6, hours after the two nations held their maiden 2+2 dialogue.

During Russian President Vladimir Putin's "short but highly productive and substantive" visit for the annual summit, India and Russia signed 28 MoUs and agreements, including that on a programme of the Military-Technical Cooperation from 2021-2031.

"There have been many fundamental changes at the global level in the last several decades. A lot of geopolitical equations have emerged. But India-Russia friendship has been a constant among all these variables. Both the countries have not only cooperated with each other without any hesitation but have also taken special care of each other's sensitivities. It is truly a unique and reliable model of inter-state friendship," PM Modi said.

The leaders discussed regional and global developments, including the post-pandemic global economic recovery and the situation in Afghanistan.

They agreed that both countries share common perspectives and concerns on Afghanistan and appreciated the bilateral roadmap charted out at the NSA level for consultation and cooperation on Afghanistan.

The leaders emphasised that Afghanistan's territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist groups including ISIS, Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba. "They reaffirmed their firm commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing, the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and countering radicalisation, to ensure that Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism," the statement said.

President Putin extended an invitation to PM Modi to visit Russia for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit in 2022.

Earlier in the day Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu co-chaired a meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission. The two sides inked the agreement to jointly produce over six lakh AK-203 assault rifles at a manufacturing facility in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi.


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