Jaishankar, Russian Deputy PM meet to prepare for Modi's visit

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov on Monday held a meeting here in preparation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's forthcoming visit to Vladivostok, Russia, as Chief Guest at the Eastern Economic Forum in early September and the next India-Russia Bilateral Summit.

The two ministers co-chaired the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC).

The Russian Deputy Prime Minister Borisov was in India at the head of an 18-member strong Russian delegation, representing various Ministries.

This was their first meeting since Jaishankar assumed office.

The two ministers held focussed discussions on bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade and investment; transport; energy; agriculture; industry; and space, an MEA statement said.

The sides noted the bilateral trade target of US$ 30 billion set by the two sides to be achieved by 2025 and agreed to take a number of measures towards this end, including expediting negotiations on a Trade Agreement between India and the Eurasian Economic Union; examining non-tariff barriers existing on both sides and finalising a joint study which is underway to enhance bilateral economic cooperation.

Possibility of enhancing agricultural exports from both sides was also discussed. In the field of transport, the two sides discussed the possibilities of cooperation in the fields of shipbuilding and inland waterways; expeditiously concluding the ongoing joint study of rail speed upgradation on the Nagpur-Secunderabad sector and possibility of implementation of satellite based tolling on highways.

On their longstanding cooperation in the field of oil and gas, the sides discussed exploring opportunities for investment in both countries. In the field of energy, the ongoing civil nuclear cooperation was discussed. In the context of Gaganyaan, India's human spaceflight programme, the importance of close cooperation between the respective space agencies, ISRO and Roskosmos was reiterated.

The Russian Deputy Prime Minister took the opportunity to congratulate the External Affairs Minister on the successful launch of Chandrayaan-2.

Both sides decided to hold the full meeting of the IRIGC-TEC in New Delhi later this year.

The External Affairs Minister invited the Russian Deputy Prime Minister for the meeting.

The last IRIGC-TEC meeting was held in Moscow on September 14, 2018.

--IANS

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