Medvedev cements India partnership


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shake hands before talks in New Delhi, India

Russia and India have pledged to share intelligence and work together to fight international terror as the two historic allies signed a clutch of agreements aimed at reinvigorating their relationship.

President Dmitry Medvedev held nearly two hours of talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, hoping to boost trade and investment in both countries.

With Mr Singh and Mr Medvedev looking on, officials signed agreements to deepen cooperation in the nuclear energy, pharmaceutical and information technology sectors.

During the Cold War, India and the Soviet Union shared a deep relationship, while the United States tilted toward India’s neighbour Pakistan. In recent years, India has moved closer to the United States, but its strategic partnership with Russia has endured.

“Russia is a time-tested friend of India that has stood by us in our times of need,” Mr Singh told reporters after the talks.

The fight against terror was a major focus of their talks, the two leaders said.

Both countries have been the victim of major terror assaults, with Pakistan-based gunmen killing 166 people in the Indian city of Mumbai in a 60-hour siege in 2008 and Russia suffering a string of deadly attacks by Chechen rebels.

“We are determined to work together to cooperate in information and intelligence sharing and in devising effective counter terrorism strategies,” Mr Singh said.

Mr Medvedev called for an agreement for the extradition of terror suspects.

“We have suffered seriously from terror attacks,” Mr Medvedev said, adding that the Russian and Indian “law enforcement agencies should cooperate.”

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