2 day visit of External Affairs Minister to Moscow

On September 13-14, 2018, External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj, embarked on a day visit to Moscow, Russia.

2 day visit of External Affairs Minister to MoscowThis was primarily to hold the meeting of the 23rd India-Russia Inter- Governmental Commission on Technical & Economic Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) in Moscow.

Highlights:

  • The  23rd India-Russia Inter- Governmental Commission on Technical & Economic Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) was co-chaired by her and Mr.Yuri Borisov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
  • The last meeting of the Commission was held in New Delhi in December 2017.
  • This is her 3rd visit in Russia in 11 months.
  • A festival of India covering 22 cities over a six month period is currently underway in Russia.

Quick visit to Turkmenistan:

On September 13, 2018, Ms. Swaraj had a brief stopover at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan en route to Russia.

  • She was welcomed at Ashgabat airport by her Turkmenistan counterpart Rashid Meredov. 
  • She she held bilateral discussions with Rashid Meredov.

Visit to Moscow, Russia:

On September 14, 2018, EAM Sushma Swaraj met with Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov in her 1st engagement since arriving in Moscow.

Meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov:

On September 14, 2018, On her meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, the following discussions were taken:

  • Co-operation with Russia in the field of space,
  • Simplification of visa rules between the 2 countries.

23rd India-Russia Inter- Governmental Commission on Technical & Economic Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC)

On September 14, 2018, Mrs Swaraj and Mr Borisov also chaired the 23rd India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC).

i. The following took place in the commission:

  • India attached ‘highest importance’to ties with Russia.
  • Discussed ways to enhance bilateral trade which in 2017 reached USD 10.17 billion,
  • To enhance 2 way investment  to USD 50 billion by 2025 which currently stands at USD 30 billion,
  • Discussion on working together on projects in third countries,
  • Discussion on cultural and tourism exchanges,
  • Cooperation in the area of space
  • To enable electronic visas for Indian nationals visiting the Russia far East.
  • Cooperation in areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, transport and Science and Technology. 
  • Both sides agreed to organize the first ever India-Russia Business Summit involving major companies from both sides in early October in India.
  • Cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector which included setting up of joint venture projects in Russia.
  • Discussions on International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a connectivity project linking India, Iran, Pakistan and Russia and several other central Asian countries.
  • Cooperation between Indian and Russian museums,
  • Discussion on construction of another Nuclear Power plant in India
  • Resolving payments in the Russian arms supply contract to arms exporter Rosoboronexport.

ii. The commission has met in the run up to the 19th India-Russia Annual Summit which is expected to be held in India early October.

About IRIGC-TEC:

It is a standing body which annually meets and reviews ongoing activities of bilateral cooperation in the fields of bilateral trade and investment, science and technology, culture and other issues of mutual interest.

Background:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for an informal summit in the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi in May during which the two leaders upgraded the traditionally close India-Russia relationship to a “special privileged strategic partnership.” The two leaders also met on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg in June.

Russia:
♦ Capital: Moscow.
♦ Currency: Russian Ruble.
♦ President: Vladmir Putin.
♦ India and Russia Military exercise name: INDRA.