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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:16, November 17, 2005
Russia to strengthen military technology cooperation with India: Putin
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia was ready to develop military and military-technical cooperation with India, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

"It is important that relations between the defense ministries of the two countries are developing dynamically," Putin said while meeting with Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Kremlin.

"Our military ships have visited India this year. We're planning to conduct such exercises in the future," the president said, referring to last October's Russia-India joint exercises.

In his view, the interaction and contacts of the two countries in the military technology sector have reached "a high level of trust."

The president also hailed the level of political contacts between Russia and India "unprecedented" over the past several years.

"It is based on long, friendly ties and on our interests -- the interests of our nations today," he noted.

Mukherjee said that the two countries' political, economic and military cooperation has reached a high level.

"Our military cooperation with Russia is exceptional -- India is the major importer of Russian military equipment, platforms and armaments," said the minister.

Russian deliveries of armaments and military hardware to India that are being coordinated and finalized have reached ten billion US dollars in value, Mukherjee said.

"This means that Russia is the number one country in India's imports of armaments and military hardware," he noted.

The minister said the two sides were to sign an agreement on the protection of intellectual property during Indian prime minister's forthcoming visit to Russia.

Source: Xinhua

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