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Modi's Russia visit next week will open new chapter in ties: Russian envoy

Modi's Russia visit next week will open new chapter in ties: Russian envoy

(Eds: Adding details) New Delhi, Aug 28 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Russia from September 4 to 5 will open a "new chapter" in already close bilateral ties as the two sides will aim to boost cooperation in a plethora of areas including defence, trade, civil nuclear energy and hydrocarbons, Russian envoy Nikolay Kudashev said on Wednesday.Expanding existing civil nuclear cooperation will be a key focus area during Modi's visit and both countries are working to firm up a general agreement for building six more atomic reactors in India apart from those under the Kudankulam project, Deputy Chief of Russian Embassy Roman Babushkin said.Without sharing specific details, Babushkin said a number of agreements will be signed to expand cooperation between the two countries in several key areas during Modi's visit.Referring to the Afghan peace process, he said both India and Iran were important players in Afghanistan and that New Delhi has made great contribution in socio-economic development of the war-ravaged country.Kudashev and Babushkin addressed a press conference on Modi's upcoming visit to Russia.In Russia, Modi will attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostoc as the chief guest and hold the 20th India-Russia annual summit. Apart from bilateral issues, the two leaders are expected to deliberate on major regional and international issues as well."The 20th summit will be unique as compared to the previous highest level engagements between our two leaders," said the Russian Ambassador.He said the summit between Modi and President Vladimir Putin will lay a solid ground for exploration and promotion of a new dimension to the special and privilege partnership between the two countries.He said a new impetus will be given to new forms of collaboration in military and military-technical cooperation besides aiming for boosting ties in alternative energy, hydrocarbon sectors and taking volume of annual bilateral trade to USD 30 billion by 2025."We expect that this highly anticipated meeting between President Putin and Prime Minister Modi will take the special and privileged partnership between the two countries to new heights," the envoy said."We are eager to successfully implement huge infrastructure projects such as Vladivostok-Chennai sea route transport corridor transport corridor, Northern sea route as well as other initiatives which would more efficiently involve transit potential of Russia," he said.On the Afghan peace process, Babushkin said India's experience in Afghanistan should be taken into account, adding Moscow also supports joint initiatives by India and China in that country.He said India and Russia were also engaged in talks on Indo-Pacific region, adding Moscow would like to follow New Delhi's vision for the region.Trade Commissioner at Russian embassy Yaroslav Tarasyuk said both countries focusing on bilateral trade in national currencies.On Indo-Russia nuclear cooperation, he said there is scope for further expansion in the area and Russia is aiming at building six new nuclear reactors in India.Under Kudankulam project, Russia has already built three nuclear reactors in India and three more are being set up. PTI MPB ZMN