Medvedev talks tough on Pak terror

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev described terrorists as “criminals” who need to be “punished”.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday told Pakistan in clear terms that it cannot continue to protect terrorists who commit crimes against India.

Addressing a joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Hyderabad House here, Medvedev described terrorists as “criminals” who need to be “punished”.

While he did not name Pakistan, the Russian President said in very clear terms with an apparent reference to Islamabad that “no modern, civilised State can hide terrorists… who commit crimes against peaceful citizens”.

He also stressed on the need to extradite such criminals under bilateral and legal framework, while stating that an international system needs to be in place to tackle the menace.

Prime Minister Singh on his part said that both India and Russia suffer from terrorism and that the two countries need to cooperate in devising effective counter-terrorism strategies.

“We should (also) cooperate in information sharing as well as intelligence,” the PM told the media.

The Russian President, on his part, reiterated that his country supports India’s bid for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

“Russia considers India a strong and deserving candidate” for membership of the UNSC,” said Medvedev.

The two countries have also agreed to intensify cooperation in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Singh announced.

On the civil nuclear cooperation front, Dr Singh said during talks with the Russian President the two leaders discussed setting up additional nuclear reactors in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

The two countries also agreed to double the bilateral trade target to USD 20 billion from the current 10 billion by 2015. In 2009, Russia-India trade reached the $7.5 billion mark.

The two countries today signed 11 agreements, boosting ties in areas like science, peaceful use of nuclear energy, culture and pharmaceuticals. However, there was no word on a key defence pact on the joint production of a fifth generation fighter aircraft.

The agreements were signed in the presence of PM Singh and President Medvedev at the press interaction.

The Russian President arrived in India on a two-day visit shortly after midnight Monday.

Relations between the two countries have blossomed in recent years, with India becoming one of the biggest importers of Russian military hardware.