Your Excellency President Putin,
Where the dawn comes first in the whole world, where the victory over the nature of the unstoppable struggle of our Russian friends has become the inspiration for the whole world and where new stories of human development are being written in the 21st century. I am extremely happy to have come to such a great place-Vladivostok. And it has been made possible on the invitation of my dear friend President Putin. For this I thank from my heart my friend - President Putin.The invitation, which gave me the privilege of being the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Vladivostok. I am grateful to President Putin, my friend for this.
And it is a pleasant historical coincidence that President Putin and I have participated in the 20th Annual Summit between India and Russia. In the year 2001, when the Indo-Russian summit took place in Russia for the first time, my friend Putin was the President of Russia, and I was in the delegation of India with Atal Ji, the then Prime Minister and I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. During the political journey of President Putin and me, the friendship and cooperation between the two countries has grown rapidly and gone a long way. During this time, our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership has not only served the strategic interests of our countries, rather, we have linked it with the development of people and their direct benefits. President Putin and me have taken this relationship to new heights of cooperation through trust and participation. And its achievements have brought not only quantitative but qualitative changes also. First, we have brought co-operation out of the realm of the people and added the immense energy of the private industry. Today we have dozens of business agreements.
Even in the strategic areas like defense, today'sagreement on the manufacturing of spare parts of Russian equipment by Joint Ventures of both the countries in India will promote the industry. This agreement and the joint venture of the AK-203 earlier this year are steps that are giving our defense cooperation a solid foundation of co-manufacturing outside the limited environment of Buyer-Seller. Increasing localization of Nuclear Plants in collaboration with Russia in India is also developing a genuine partnership between us in this field. Second, we are moving our relations beyond the capitals to the states of India and the regions of Russia outside the capitals. This is not surprising because on the one hand I have been the Chief Minister of Gujarat for a long timeand President Putin is also aware of capabilities and potential of Russia's territories. Therefore, it is natural that he conceived the Eastern Economic Forum and understood the importance of connecting a diverse country like India with it. No matter how muchyou appreciate it, less it is.
Immediately after receiving his invitation, we began to prepare very seriously. For this, Commerce Minister of India, Chief Minister of 4 states and more than 150 businessmen came to Vladivostok. Meeting with the special envoy to Far East and all 11 Governors of Far East have given very good results. Relations between states and regions found a framework. And coal, Diamond, Mining, rare earth, agriculture, timber, Pulp & Paper and tourism have revealed many new possibilities. And now a maritime route between Chennai and Vladivostok has also been proposed to increase connectivity between the regions. Third, we have greatly diversified our bilateral cooperation and added new dimensions to it. Nowadays the highlight and headline is the unprecedented investment in each other's hydrocarbon sector, not just oil and gas deals between India and Russia. A 5-year roadmap for cooperation in this sector, and cooperation in the search for Hydro-Carbon and LNG in Far East and the Arctic have been agreed. Our long association in space is touching new heights. Astronauts of India will receive training in Russia for Gaganyan, i.e. Indian Human Space Flight. To achieve the full potential of mutual investment, we have agreed to have an investment protection agreement soon. India's 'Russia Plus Desk' and Russia's Far East Investment and Export Agency's Mumbai office will facilitate mutual investment.
To our Strategic Partnership,new chapters are also being added. The immense Tri-Services Exercise 'Indra-2019' between the two countries symbolizes our growing trust and confidence. Whenever the need arises, India and Russia work together not only in ordinary places of the world butin Antarctica and Arctic also. Both countries are well aware that in today's era, multi-polar world is essential for peace and stability. And the role of our cooperation and coordination in building it will be important. Therefore, we intuitively cooperate closely in BRICS, SCO and other global forums. Today we have open and meaningful discussions on many of the major global and regional issues. India wants to see an Afghanistan that is free, secure, unbroken, peaceful and democratic. We are both against external interference in the internal affairs of any country. We also had a fruitful discussions onconcept of India's free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. We agree that India and Russia will cooperate and strengthen in areas such as cyber security, counter-terrorism, environment protection. India and Russia have agreed to organize a High Level Forum on Tiger Conservation next year.
Once again I express my great gratitude to my friend President Putin very much for this invitation and welcome reception. I am looking forward to attending the Eastern Economic Forum with them tomorrow, and with my other leaderfriends. I will wait for President Putin's visit to India for Annual Summit next year. Russia will chair the SCO and BRICS in the year 2020. I believe that these organizations under President Putin will set new records for success. India and I will have all my personal supportfor this.
Source: Ministry of External affairs Gov of India