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Please enter the digits in the box below:  |  Interviews  |  Manmohan Singh: India and Russia cooperation has multidimensional scope


December 15, 2011

Manmohan Singh: India and Russia cooperation has multidimensional scope

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is visiting Moscow on December 15-17, has given an interview to Interfax ahead of his visit in which he speaks about the achievements and prospects of Indian-Russian cooperation.

Question: Your Excellency, we met two years ago before your last visit to Moscow for annual summit. How do you estimate the dynamics of our relations in the ever changing international context? At least do we manage to deal together with the main challenges of today?

Answer: As I said, our relations of cooperation have a multidimensional scope. There is a growing area of identification, of new thrust areas of cooperation. We cooperate at the bilateral level. We cooperate at the regional level like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. We cooperate at BRICS. We are now all five countries members of BRICS. BRICS provides an opportunity for India and Russia along with other members of the BRICS to discuss global issues, to discuss regional issues. Therefore, in the last two years we have added fresh dimensions to the programs of cooperation between our two countries. More recently what has been happening in North Africa, West Asia, and in Afghanistan and Iran, is a matter of concern both to Russia as well as to India. Exchange of information in all these areas is of great importance to our two countries working together to deal with these new challenges that are on the horizon. In the field of global economy, the Euro zone crisis has consequences for the entire world economy. Russia and India in BRICS and other bilateral forums can work together to explore new pathways of cooperation in the face of these uncertainties in the functioning of the global economy.

Q.: The recent protest movement in Tamil Nadu has been hampering the timely start-up of Kudankulam NPP. Do you believe that it will not hinder the large scale Indian atomic energy program, including implementation of Russian-Indian plans in this sphere?

A.: The protests in Kudankulam reflect the concern among people about the safety of nuclear energy. People are also worried that such plants should not affect their livelihood and environment.

The government takes these concerns seriously. We have set up an independent group of experts to respond to all the legitimate and genuine concerns and fears of the local people.

If we have to develop nuclear energy in the country, it is essential that it is done with the support of the people. In India we are giving the highest priority to nuclear safety. I know that the Russian leadership also has the same priority and has taken several initiatives, including in the international arena, which we welcome.

As far as India-Russia cooperation in the nuclear field is concerned, this will continue, and we will fulfill our commitments. India has always regarded Russia as partner who was with us in times of difficulty and even when there were restrictions on nuclear commerce with India. I wish to thank all the Russian experts who are working with us in the Kudankulam project.

Q.: One Indian proverb says that managing 1000 people is as hard as managing 3 persons. You have to manage the country of a billion population. What is the core of your approach and what are your main principles in managing this big and great India?

A.: India is a large country of great diversity and complexity. We are an ancient civilization but a young nation characterized by a vibrant economy.

Our task in government is to lift the millions of our countrymen out of poverty and to eradicate the scourge of illiteracy, hunger and disease. Our growth has to be balanced and inclusive, benefiting all sections of our society. At the international level, India cooperates with all countries to create an atmosphere that is conducive to meeting our national goals and realizing the aspirations of our people. We strive to build peace, stability and harmony in the world.

I consider it a deep honor and privilege to have the opportunity to serve the people of India as prime minister.


U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman, who will leave his post in early October, has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about exchanges at the highest level between Moscow and Washington, a possibility of Russias return to G8, as well as his vision of the future of U.S.-Russian relations.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty on that is expected on August 2, about Russia‘s response to the U.S. and NATO possible deployment of missiles banned by the treaty, and about whether the Cuban Missile Crisis may repeat itself.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold negotiations on the sidelines of the Petersburg Dialogue forum in Germany on Thursday. Maas has given an interview to Interfax ahead of the forum, in which he speaks about prospects of settling the conflict in Ukraine, Germanys preparations for ensuring security in the absence of the INF Treaty and attempts to save the Iranian nuclear deal.

German Ambassador to Russia Rudiger von Fritsch, who is leaving Moscow after a five-year mission, told Interfax about the state of affairs in bilateral relations, Germanys position on the Nord Stream 2 project amidst sanction risks, and assessed prospects for settling the crisis in Ukraine under the new authorities in Kyiv.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about results of the trilateral meeting on Afghanistan settlement that took place in Moscow on April 25, prospects of the intra-Afghan meeting in Doha, and Russia‘s role in the Afghan issue.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has given an interview to Interfax ahead of the Alliances 70th anniversary that is to be celebrated on April 4. He speaks in the interview about the NATOs vision of future relations with Russia, its attitude to the situation surrounding the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) Treaty and the New START Treaty, as well as further plans of expanding the Alliance.

British Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the current situation in the relationship between the United Kingdom and Russia, the impact of the Skripal case on it, the restoration of the numbers of diplomatic staff, exchange of information on counter-terrorism, possible introduction of sanctions over the Kerch Strait incident, the INF Treaty, and British-Russian economic relations.


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