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BRICS 2016: Modi, Putin Denounce 'Direct & Indirect Support' to Terror

Parikshit Luthra | CNN-News18 ParikshitL

First published: October 15, 2016, 10:15 PM IST | Updated: October 15, 2016
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BRICS 2016: Modi, Putin Denounce 'Direct & Indirect Support' to Terror
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Goa on Saturday. (REUTERS PHOTO)

Benaulim (Goa): India and Russia on Saturday said there should be zero tolerance for “direct and indirect support of terrorism” and that the UN global strategy on counter-terrorism should be applied without any double standards.

The joint statement, signed by the two countries after two hours of talks, had a strongly worded paragraph on terrorism. PM Modi and President Putin stressed on the need to deny safe havens to terrorists, and the importance of counter-terror ideology.

ALSO READ: Terror Tops Modi-Xi Meet, China Leaves Door Open on Masood Azhar

During talks, Modi expressed gratitude to Russia for its unequivocal support in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack and the subsequent surgical strikes the Indian Army carried out on terror camps in Pakistan-held territory.

Putin highlighted combating terror as one of the priority areas in the India-Russia relationship. During the lunch meeting, Modi briefed Putin about increased cross-border infiltration from Pakistan and its inaction on 26/11 and Pathankot attacks.

ALSO READ: India to Buy S-400 Triumf Air Defence Systems from Russia

Despite the two sides referring to each other as “especially privileged strategic partners”, there is still a question mark on whether the Russia-Pakistan military exercise will happen again.

India has been protesting against the joint military exercises and the issue came up during the talks on Saturday.

Answering a question about the ‘friendship exercise”, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said, “After today’s meeting, we are sure Russia would not do anything that harms our interests.”

It is obvious that Russia is closely watching India’s growing relationship with the US, and the military exercise with Pakistan is their way of saying we have our own options – one of the reasons why this year’s summit is crucial for New Delhi.

PM Modi reiterated that Russia will remain India’s major defence and strategic partner. A mere reading of the 16 MoUs and three announcements between the two allies shows how India wants to broaden this relationship in the years to come.

ALSO READ: Military Exercise With Pakistan Not Targeted at India, Says Russia

Agreements were signed on shipbuilding, joint study of a gas pipeline, railways, space cooperation and oil and gas.

Major defence deals signed included the supply of S-400 anti-aircraft air defence systems, which can engage targets at a range of 400m, the joint manufacturing of Kamov helicopters and four additional frigates.

Jaishankar also said that a major component of talks was around economic issues and increasing trade.

“Naturally we particularly focused on our trade and economic ties. We noted with satisfaction that in the composition of reciprocal export and import flows, the majority of products have high added value, including engineering and industrial processing products,” Putin said.

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