Speaking to an august gathering after receiving an honorary doctorate from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations here, Dr. Singh further said that one of the fundamental foundations of India's foreign policy is the partnership with Russia.
"We are both impacted by developments in our common neighbourhood, making our strategic partnership even more relevant than ever before. I see four areas as being of particular importance in this context.
Firstly, developments in Central and South-Central Asia are of relevance to the security of both Russia and India. As India revitalizes its historic links with Central Asia, we look forward to working more closely with Russia in the region. Our cooperation can play an important role in advancing peace, stability and economic development in Afghanistan. It can be equally effective in combating the shared challenges of extremism, terrorism and narco-trafficking. Coordination of our policies in this shared neighbourhood has served us both well and we should continue to pursue it more closely in the future.
Secondly, peace and stability in the Gulf and West Asia are in our shared interest. For reasons of proximity, security, energy supplies and the livelihood of more than six million Indians living in a region which is also a major destination of our exports, peace and stability in the region is particularly vital for India. We applaud President Putin's role in seeking a political settlement in Syria and welcome the framework agreement worked out by Russia and the United States for a time-bound elimination of chemical weapons in Syria. We also value the Russian contribution to efforts for a peaceful resolution of the equally important Iranian nuclear issue.
Thirdly, we regard Russia as an important partner in shaping an inclusive, cooperative and rule-based regional security architecture in the Asia Pacific region, which is the focus of India's Look East Policy.
Finally, as the world becomes increasingly multi-polar and emerging economies grow in strength, cooperation between Russia and India in multilateral forums, including the Group of 20 and BRICS, will assume greater importance. We have converging interests in non-proliferation, cyber security and space security. We also appreciate Russia's support for India's membership of international export control regimes and permanent membership of an UN Security Council.
Dr. Singh said: "From our perspective, a strong, secure and prosperous Russia, fulfilling its international responsibilities, is in the interest of India and the world as a whole. Equally, a strong and broad-based partnership between Russia and India will be of great benefit to our two countries and can be a force of stability and prosperity in Eurasia and beyond.
Our shared interests, our growing opportunities for cooperation, the history of our relationship, our abiding comfort with each other and the warmth and goodwill between our people ensure that our strategic partnership will continue to grow in strength and relevance in this changing world."
--ANI (Posted on 21-10-2013)