Russia, India to discuss economic cooperation prospects

Meeting in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian Premier Mikhail Kasyanov and Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha will discuss bilateral economic cooperation prospects, reported a source in the Russian government apparatus.

According to RIA Novosti's information, they will also discuss the progress of fulfilling a joint Russian-Indian Declaration on Development and Strengthening of Economic and Scientific-and-Technical Cooperation, which was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India in December 2002.

Further on, the Indian foreign minister will hold a meeting with Vice Premier/Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin to talk about Indian investments in joint high-tech projects as part of paying off a rupee debt equal to up to 3 billion US dollars.

According to Alexander Yakovanko, the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, talks in Moscow are expected to outline "further steps to build up bilateral interaction in the trade and economic, scientific-and-technical, and cultural directions." As of today, Russia and India are pleased with the rates of their mutually beneficent trade and economic cooperation, which covers such large-scale projects as joint oil production on a Sakhalin shelf /"Sakhalin-1"/, the Kudankulam power plant project in Southern India, and hydrocarbon prospecting in the Bay of Bengal. According to Yakovenko, the Russian side also has a chance to participate in long-term Indian projects dealing with the energy sphere, prospecting for and production/transporting of hydrocarbon, modernization and reconstruction of metallurgical facilities, civil aviation, information technologies, and space exploration.

The Indian minister is visiting Russia from May 14 to 18. During this time, he will also meet with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov and other high-ranking officials. On May 15 and 16, he will attend a session of a Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic, Scientific-and-Technical, and Cultural Cooperation.

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