Joint Declaration Between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation

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    Joint Declaration between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Strategic Partnership to meet Global Challenges

    Following the official visit of the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, to Russia at the invitation of President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Dmitry Medvedev, for the Annual Summit from December 6 to 8, 2009,

    the Republic of India and the Russian Federation, hereinafter referred to as the "Sides",

    REITERATING their aim of deepening and strengthening in every way the close, friendly and historic India-Russia bilateral relationship;

    RECALLING the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India of 28 January 1993 and the Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation of 3 October 2000;

    REAFFIRMING their desire to strengthen international peace, security and stability and to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between states in order to build a just and democratic world order;

    EMPHASIZING the importance of ensuring sustainable development, of expanding and modernizing their economies and of improving the well-being of their citizens;

    hereby declare that:

    1. The Strategic Partnership between India and the Russian Federation is the culmination of the long and multifaceted bilateral relations that have flourished between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations in April 1947 and is a key foreign policy priority for both the Sides. This deepening partnership is not impacted in any way by the engagement of the two countries with the rest of the world. It is a time-tested and enduring friendship which is mutually beneficial and which has emerged as a factor of peace and stability in the region and the world.

    The Sides recognize that an effective response to the regional and global challenges in the future demands that India and Russia intensify their Strategic Partnership. As two large pluralistic democracies undergoing rapid economic transformation, India and Russia share many interests and viewpoints on global issues. They undertake to take steps to deepen bilateral cooperation and raise their Strategic Partnership to the next level.

    India and Russia value their Annual Summit as the principal vehicle to advance their Strategic Partnership.

    2. India and Russia share the view that radical changes taking place in the international system, do not just pose new challenges and threats, but also provide opportunities to build a new, democratic and fair multipolar world order-based on collective approaches, supremacy of international law, and adherence to the goals and principles enshrined in the UN Charter.

    3. India and Russia share the common commitment to reform the global economic governance system based on the principles of equity and justice, taking into account the need to ensure the full-fledged participation of major economies and developing countries in reforming the world's financial and economic system in line with the new economic realities.

    India and Russia note that, in spite of a diverse range of international stake holders and the interlinking effects of globalization, a modern state is the main tool for reconciling public interest with securing the rights, freedoms and interests of individual citizens, and continues to be the basic building block of international relations.

    4. The Sides emphasize that the emerging system of international relations should be based on the principle of indivisible security, have a universal character and should encompass all states and all major spheres of international relations. The Sides note that maintaining international peace involves equal security for all states without exception. The security of some states should not be achieved at the expense of the security of others.

    5. The Sides are convinced that only collective efforts by the international community as a whole, can successfully meet challenges such as overcoming the global financial crisis, ensuring energy and food security and addressing an issue of global concern such as climate change.

    6. India and Russia express their support for international efforts aimed at global, complete and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons. In this regard, India welcomes the intention of Russia and the United States to conclude a new Treaty on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.

    India and Russia stress that the proliferation of nuclear weapons and its possible link to terrorism poses a threat to international peace and security, undermines security of states, complicates progress toward nuclear disarmament and may negatively affect prospects for wider international cooperation in the sphere of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Sides pledge to work together for global non-proliferation.

    The Sides reaffirm their commitment to prevent the deployment of weapons in outer space and to maintain outer space exclusively for peaceful use and cooperation for the sake of all mankind.

    7. The Sides are convinced that the international community should enhance efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The United Nations Global Counter-terrorism Strategy and the respective resolutions of the UNGA and UNSC should be steadfastly implemented, in particular UNSC resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540. Both Sides call upon the international community to comply with the provisions of international counter-terrorism conventions and protocols including the principle, 'either prosecute or extradite', regarding the persons accused of committing acts of terror. The Sides strongly call for an early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. The Sides intend to further develop Indian-Russian bilateral cooperation in combating new challenges and threats, including such cooperation within the framework of the India and Russia Working Group on Combating International Terrorism.

    Russia expressed solidarity and support to the Government and people of India in connection with terrorist attacks in Mumbai on November 26-29, 2008 and both Sides underscore the need to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice.

    India supports Russia's efforts to maintain peace and stability in the Caucasus.

    India expressed sympathy for the victims of the attack of the "Nevsky Express" by terrorists on November 27, 2009 in Russia, and supports the Government of the Russian Federation in its determination to eliminate terrorism from Russian soil.

    8. The Sides welcome the result of the presidential elections in Afghanistan and agree that the people of Afghanistan and the international community face a clear and present danger from terrorist and extremist elements which must be tackled resolutely before peace and stability can be restored in the region.

    The Sides emphasize that the resurgence of the Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan threatens the progress made over the last few years. In this regard, they condemn the terrorist attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul on October 8, 2009. They agree that the fight against terrorism cannot be selective, and drawing false distinctions between 'good' and 'bad' Taliban, would be counter-productive. They highlight the need for strict observance of the sanctions regime against persons and entities listed by UNSC Committee 1267. The Sides reaffirm their long-term commitment to a democratic, pluralistic and stable Afghanistan. They are in favour of enhancing the role of the International Security Assistance Forces in combating the illegal narcotics infrastructure in Afghanistan. In this context, India appreciates the convening by the Russian Federation of an International Conference on Afghanistan under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on March 27, 2009.

    9. The Sides share the international community's concern with the continuing acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia. The Sides assert that measures to combat piracy should be implemented in compliance with international law and that persons guilty of acts of piracy must be brought to justice.

    10. India and Russia emphasise the urgency of effective international action to combat climate change and in this context, affirm their readiness to continue to work constructively for the success of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in accordance with the principles and provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Bali Action Plan, bearing in mind the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities of states.

    11. India and Russia agree to enhance bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, including joint projects by Indian and Russian hydrocarbon companies. While promoting bilateral energy cooperation efforts, the Sides also support the modernization of the architecture of the global energy market. The Sides agree to discuss and develop an appropriate international legal system that would promote transactions in the energy sector in a universal, equitable and non-discriminatory manner, taking into account the interests of suppliers, transit states and consumers of energy resources.

    12. India and Russia welcome the finalisation of the Agreement on Cooperation in the Use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes and look forward to developing and intensifying broad-based cooperation between the two countries in the area of nuclear energy including such areas as joint scientific research, implementation of nuclear power projects and setting up of fuel supply arrangements.

    On these aspects and in regard to the development and intensification of broad-based cooperation as mentioned in the Framework Agreement, the Sides will conclude specific instruments.

    13. The Sides consider effective interaction on timely response to natural and man-made disasters and mitigating their social and economic impact as an important sphere of international cooperation.

    14. India and Russia call for strengthening bilateral and international cooperation in countering the threat of extremely dangerous infectious and other contagious diseases.

    15. The Sides underline the urgency for ensuring international information security as one of the key elements of the whole international security scenario.

    16. The Sides agree to further strengthen their cooperation on issues related to the reform of the UN and its Security Council. The reform of the UN Security Council should be carried out in a manner that reflects contemporary realities and makes it more representative and effective in dealing with both present-day and emerging challenges. Russia considers India a deserving and strong candidate for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.

    17. The Sides welcome the Pittsburgh Summit's landmark decision to institutionalise the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation and are convinced that this process should be implemented on the principles of equality among all the participants, transparency and mutual consideration of interest. In the context of the international financial and economic crisis, they commend the timely and strong policy response for growth, until durable recovery is assured. They reiterate the importance of the comprehensive package of regulatory measures to prevent recurrence of the crisis. The Sides welcome the Pittsburgh Summit's focus to address reforms of the international financial institutions in order to improve their credibility, governance and effectiveness, and look forward to implementing the G-20 decisions within the agreed timelines. The Sides reaffirm their commitment to avoid protectionism in all its forms. The Sides favour the streamlining of the G-20 process, including defining rules of procedure, ensuring transparency in work methods and equitable rotation of G-20 Summits. In a spirit of friendship and cooperation, they look forward to working closely together, as well as with others, in the G-20 framework.

    India and Russia also favour closer cooperation and equal interaction between developed countries and major developing countries in other international formats, including the Heiligendamm - L'Aquila Process.

    18. The Sides note the growing efficacy of close multilateral cooperation in the Asia Pacific region as a means to enhance economic cooperation in the region and to maintain regional peace and stability to confront global challenges of security and development of the 21st century. In this context, the Sides express interest in strengthening bilateral and multilateral interaction in different related fields.

    19. The Sides consider the interaction in BRIC and RIC formats to be an effective tool to promote strengthening a more balanced and predictable international system as well as a core element to shape a multipolar world order and to ensure sustainable world development in the post crisis setting.

    20. Both Sides welcome the progress registered by the BRIC dialogue. They note that the first stand alone BRIC Summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in June this year has given it a direction for future growth and added new vistas of cooperation for the coming years. The Sides look forward to early meetings of BRIC Energy and Agriculture Ministers and implementation of other initiatives suggested by the leaders at the first BRIC Summit. The Sides underlined the importance of BRIC Finance Ministers' meetings in the context of G-20 meetings. Noting the Track-II events organized by think-tanks, they express satisfaction that the BRIC dialogue at Track-II level is also progressing well.

    21. The Sides welcome the enhanced interaction in the trilateral format and recall the successful holding of the Ninth Trilateral Meeting of Foreign Ministers of India, Russia and China in Bengaluru in October 2009. The Sides appreciate the exchange of views on regional and global issues that was facilitated by this meeting and call for intensified exchanges of information and ideas on the important issues of the day for the benefit of the people of the three countries and for peace and stability in the region.

    22. The Russian side appreciates the representation at the level of Prime Minister from India in the Summit Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at Yekaterinburg, held on 16 June 2009, as it is indicative of the importance India attaches to the SCO. The Indian side welcomes the increased involvement of Observer states in the activities and meetings of the SCO and seeks a more constructive engagement in the Organization in economic, counter-terrorism and culture related activities. The Russian side supports India’s full membership in the SCO. The Sides recognize that the SCO represents a vast land mass rich in cultural diversity, creativity and resources that has evolved to be an important regional organization promoting peace and stability and fostering economic development in the region.

    23. Russia is confident that engagement of India in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will enhance capacity-building and effectiveness of the APEC mechanism, and encourage enhanced trade and investment cooperation in the region. Russia supports India's membership in the APEC and will work towards lifting the moratorium on expanding the APEC's membership.

    24. India believes that Russia's involvement in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) will greatly help to improve interregional cooperation, mutual understanding and confidence within Eurasia, and in this respect India supports Russia joining that dialogue forum at the 8th Asia-Europe Meeting to be held in Brussels in 2010.

    25. The Sides express satisfaction at the intensity of the bilateral engagement since their last Summit meeting, including the State Visit of the President of India to the Russian Federation in September 2009. The Prime Minister of India extends an invitation to the President of the Russian Federation to visit India for the next Summit meeting in 2010. The President of the Russian Federation accepts the invitation with pleasure. The leaders look forward to an ever deepening partnership encompassing diverse strategic and other areas of cooperation which would herald a new chapter in the abiding ties of friendship and mutual confidence between India and the Russian Federation.

    December 7, 2009