Expanding Indo-Russian cooperation for India

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said expanding Indo-Russian bilateral cooperation and consolidating coordination on regional and global issues was in the interest of India and that of global peace and prosperity.

Singh, who is set to embark on a three-day visit to the Russian capital to attend the Indo-Russian Summit, also said that he is "convinced that India-Russia consultation on global issues is more necessary today than ever before".

"There is enormous mutual goodwill in our two countries for each other. Both countries recognise the significant mutual benefit we derive from working together. I will utilise my visit to further expand our bilateral cooperation and further consolidate our coordination on regional and global issues. This is in our national interest and in the interest of global peace and prosperity," he said in a pre-departure statement.

Noting that this year`s India-Russia Annual Summit was taking place against the backdrop of a complex international environment, Singh said he was "looking forward to an indepth exchange of views with the Russian leadership on the crisis facing the global economy and the political developments in our extended neighbourhood, including West Asia, Gulf and Afghanistan and the impact of all this on peace and stability in the world.

"The perspectives of our countries on these developments are marked by a high degree of convergence," he said.

During the visit, Singh will discuss with Russian President Medvedev ways to further enhance consultations in international forums like the United Nations Security Council, G 20, BRICS as well as the East Asia Summit which Russia has recently joined.

"I am convinced that India-Russia consultation on global issues is more necessary today than ever before. Our bilateral relations with Russia are based on mutual trust, friendship and shared interests," he said, noting that bilateral ties encompass diverse sectors including nuclear energy, defence, space, science and technology, hydrocarbons, trade and investment and people-to-people exchanges.

"I will discuss mechanisms to further expand our bilateral cooperation, particularly in the trade, economic and commercial fields," he said.

The Prime Minister also said that the was looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during his visit.

Observing that Putin has played a key role in development of "our Strategic Partnership, and has been the architect of our contemporary relationship," Singh said, "I will review with him the progress we have made in our relations since his visit to India in March 2010".

The Prime Minister also said that Indian enjoy a special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia and the Summits have focused high level attention on follow-up to the decisions that are taken and on charting new vistas for cooperation.