India, Russia discuss trade, firm up Medvedev visit agenda

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NEW DELHI - Ahead of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to India next month, India and Russia Thursday held wide-ranging talks aimed at expanding bilateral trade and firming up pacts that are expected to be signed during the presidential trip.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov held delegation-level talks at the 16th Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Joint Economic Commission (IRIGC) meeting here.

The two sides discussed ways and means of boosting bilateral trade from $7.4 billion to $20 billion by 2015 and focused on removing visa and travel barriers to ease trade and investment between the two countries, said official sources.

The meeting focused on expanding bilateral cooperation in diverse areas, including pharmaceuticals, energy, both conventional and civil nuclear, IT and telecommunications, advanced and applied sciences, hydrocarbons and hi-technology.

The meeting between Krishna and Ivanov, seen by some as a successor to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, also firmed up the agenda for the annual summit-level meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Medvedev next month. Medvedev is expected to come to India around Dec 20.

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