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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 51, October 2000

Russian President Visit to India

Visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India, October 2-5, 2000.

Joint Statement, October 5

"... The sides expressed their determination to continue cooperation in peaceful uses of atomic energy as well as space. ...

Both sides expressed satisfaction over their increasing cooperation in the field of military technical cooperation, joint research and development and training. The Agreement on the Establishment of an Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation at a high Ministerial level would further facilitate intensified contact in this area.

Expressing satisfaction over the enhanced level of interaction between the National Security Council of India and the Security Council of the Russian Federation, both sides called for further specific steps to be taken towards implementation of the Indo-Russian Protocol of Cooperation between the two Councils. ...

Both sides underlined the importance of joint efforts for establishing solid international legal basis for cooperation in combating international terrorism including through the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

The two sides reaffirmed their support for strengthening regional and international security as well as support for advancing towards general and complete disarmament, in particular by systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally with the ultimate goal of eliminating these weapons. Russia welcomed India' voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing and appreciated the Indian government' efforts to develop a broad national consensus on the issue of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The sides stressed their readiness to work with others for an early commencement of negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament for banning the future production of weapon grade fissile material for nuclear weapon and other nuclear explosive devices. Both sides stressed the need for full implementation, in good faith, of existing bilateral and multilateral arms control treaties including the ABM Treaty. The two sides noted the need to explore the possibilities for a non-discriminatory mechanism to prevent the proliferation of missiles and missile technology on a global basis. Both sides will continue to contribute positively to international efforts aimed at combating the illicit trafficking of small arms which has emerged as a major source of support for terrorism.

India supports the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation made during the Millennium Summit in New York to hold an International Conference in Moscow in the spring of 2001 on the Prevention of Militarisation of Outer Space. ...

The Russian side, while reaffirming its support for India' efforts to normalise its relations with Pakistan on the basis of the 1972 Shimla Agreement, appreciated the position of India that the composite dialogue as a part of the Lahore process could be resumed only when necessary measures are taken for cessation of support for cross-border terrorism and for respect of the Line of Control.

The Russian Federation appreciated the measures taken by India for combating terrorism and ushering in normalcy in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

India expressed its support to the steps taken by the Russian Federation in the Republic of Chechnya in the protection of its territorial integrity and Constitutional order. ..."

Source: Government of India website, http://www.indiagov.org.

Declaration on Strategic Partnership, October 3

"3. Such a strategic partnership would include enhanced cooperation in the following fields:

(a) Political ...

  • further intensifying their efforts aimed at strengthening international peace and security, general and complete disarmament, systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the ultimate goal of eliminating these weapons, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful settlement of disputes; ...
(c) Defence
  • consolidating defence and military-technical cooperation in a long-term perspective;
  • deepening service-to-service cooperation. ...
(f) Other Fields
  • cooperating in the fight against international terrorism, separatism, organised crime, and illegal trafficking in narcotics; ...
4. The strategic partnership between the sides is not directed against any other state or group of states, and does not seek to create a military-political alliance."

Source: Government of India website, http://www.indiagov.org.

Note: on October 4, the two sides signed five agreements, all described on the Indian government' website as relating to "the area of defence", namely: an Agreement on the Establishment of an India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation; an Agreement Relating to the Supply of Aircraft Carrier Admiral Gorshkov from Russia to India; an Agreement on the Transfer of Technology and Licensed Production of 140 Su-30 MKI Fighter Aircraft; an Agreement between the Indian Ministry of Defence and the Russian Corporation Rosvaroozheniya on the purchase of T-90 tanks; and a Memorandum-of-Understanding on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

Comment & Reaction

President Putin, Address to Parliament, October 4: "We know at present what is going on in Kashmir. We share your concern about outbreaks of violence there. ... This issue can be resolved on a bilateral basis, on the basis of a compromise and on an unconditional respect for the Line of Control. Any foreign interference should be stopped.

We highly respect the consistent position of India on the action Russian authorities have taken in the Northern Caucasus. The concept of forming a collective front to fight terrorism with the participation of all interested states is warmly welcome. ...

The commonality of the key interests of Russia and India allows to agree on nuclear issues which are quite complex. Our countries are capable of working out positions that would not contradict the interests of regional and international security. We assume that India, taking into account its own interest, will continue to move towards non-proliferation regimes."

Source: Government of India website, http://www.indiagov.org.

Indian Prime Minister Ital Bihari Vajpayee, Address to Parliament, October 4: "India has consistently striven for global disarmament and has been in the forefront of all international efforts in this direction. We remain firmly committed to the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free world. The continuous proliferation of nuclear weapons and missiles in our region has been of concern to us."

Source: Government of India website, http://www.indiagov.org.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Riaz Muhammad Khan, October 9: "It is natural for us to feel concerned over the prospect of induction of massive quantities of new equipment recently contracted by India for purchase from Russia which will be destabilizing for the region... This does not augur well for promoting a security environment of trust, peace, stability and confidence... It is in the interest of the region that nothing is done to whet Indian ambitions. Instead, the major powers can play a positive role by persuading India to resolve disputes and differences and follow the path of dialogue and cooperation... [Our defences are] impregnable [and] the world knows we have the capability to deter any aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan."

Sources: Pakistan worried by Indo-Russian deals, Reuters, October 9; Indo-Russia arms deal destabilizing for region - Pakistan, Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), October 10.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.