Patil meets Putin to discuss trade ties, terrorism

     President Pratibha Devisingh Patil's meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday focused on the issue of terrorism and strengthening of economic relations between the two countries. Patil, who is on a five-day visit to the country, discussed bilateral issues with Putin. The two leaders were in complete agreement that the world community has to respond to the terror threat for peace and stability in the region. In her address, Patil said that the two countries shared old ties, based on shared interest and deep mutual trust. "India greatly values its strategic partnership with Russia which is founded on shared interest and deep mutual trust between two countries and on common vision to see the establishment of the multi-polar world. And this order should be based on the principles of international look, in the internal matters of state," she said. Patil appreciated the strong support Russia had extended on vital issues including nuclear energy, defence and military cooperation. Russia sees India, a stanch ally of the erstwhile Soviet Union during the Cold War era, as an important partner to expand Russian influence in Asia, though Moscow and New Delhi have bickered over delays to the delivery of Russian military hardware. Earlier in the day, Patil held a meeting with Dmitry Anatolievich Medvedev, Russian President and attended the 'Year of India' celebrations at Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Russia is keen to double trade with India to $10 billion by 2010 and thus cement Indo-Russian relations despite trade with India lagging far behind Moscow's economic ties with the European Union and China. Russia is aiding in the setting up of two 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors at Kudankulam in south India as part of a deal signed in 1988. Later Russia agreed in 2008 that it intended to build four more reactors at the site.

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