Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged continued cooperation with India on its nuclear energy program on Tuesday as leaders of the two countries met in Moscow to build stronger ties.
Russia and India are cooperating successfully in nuclear power and Russia hopes the cooperation will intensify after India settles all issues with the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Putin said after talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Kremlin, according to the Interfax news agency.
"We regard India as our strategic partner and will actively work to help India carry out its plans and advance its programs, particularly in the peaceful use of nuclear energy," he said.
Russia expects to join India's big projects on peaceful use of nuclear energy, Putin said.
Singh called Russia a key partner of India in its efforts to promote nuclear energy and said he saw enormous potential for cooperation given India's growing energy needs and the importance of nuclear energy as a clean, alternative source of electricity.
After their talks, Russia and India signed an agreement on protection of intellectual property in the defense industry, a deal that came as the two nations build strong military links.
Russia is No. 1 supplier of arms to India, with about 40 percent of its arms exports going to the South Asian nation. India says its weapons contracts with Russia have totaled nine billion US dollars in value.
The two countries also signed two deal on joint space exploration.