New Delhi: Ahead of their annual bilateral summit next month, India and Russia on Wednesday reaffirmed their intention to strengthen their strategic partnership and agreed to take forward collaborative ideas in diverse fields, including security, nuclear and space.
"We were unanimous in our intention to further strengthen the special and privileged strategic partnership that exists between India and Russia," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said while addressing the media after co-chairing a meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission (IRIGC) with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin here.
"We made good progress in implementing the agreements that were signed in the last summit meeting held in Goa in October 2016," she said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held the last annual bilateral summit in Goa ahead of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit that India hosted. The two leaders will hold the next summit in St. Petersburg on June 1.
Sushma Swaraj said that in Wednesday's meeting, both sides "agreed to work closely in the months ahead to take forward many of the collaborative ideas that emerged in diverse fields, including security, nuclear, space, disaster management, trade and economy, science and technology, and people-to-people linkages".
She said that both sides also took stock stock of the forthcoming annual bilateral summit.
Stating that ties with Russia form "one of the most important pillars" of Indian foreign policy, Sushma Swaraj said that the two countries are celebrating the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations this year.
"The roadmap of events adopted at the last India-Russia annual summit is being enthusiastically implemented and more than 100 events are scheduled," she said.
Rogozin, who was also present at the media briefing, said that this year is very important for bilateral relations as the two countries are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic ties.
He said that Wednesday's discussions focused on trade and economic cooperation as also atomic energy, transport corridor, agriculture and space cooperation.
"We have different areas of cooperation in agriculture and space," he said.
Following the meeting, Rogozin also called on Prime Minister Modi.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office, Modi noted with satisfaction the positive all-round progress in bilateral cooperation between India and Russia during his talks with Rogozin.
"He appreciated the frequent high-level exchanges between the two sides as both countries celebrate the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations this year," the statement added.