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PM for cooperation in energy, space, IT
Amitabh Roychowdhury in Moscow | December 05, 2005 20:56 IST
On the eve of his summit-level talks with President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said India and Russia must initiate dialogue to widen their cooperation for energy security and asserted that working together in the space sector will be a 'win-win proposition' for both countries.
Delivering the acceptance speech after being conferred with the title Professor Honoris Causa at the Moscow University, Dr Singh also said Russia and India must fight terrorism wherever it exists because 'terrorism anywhere threatens democracy everywhere'.
He also talked about the opportunities for expanded cooperation between the two countries in the fields of biotechnology, information technology and nanotechnology and for a strategic partnership in the knowledge-based sectors.
Emphasising that India's need for energy is increasing exponentially and Russia has been an important partner in its strategy for energy security, Singh said, "We must initiate an Energy Dialogue between experts and policy makers in our two countries to widen and deepen our cooperation in this field."
Describing energy security as an important challenge of the 21st century, he said Russia and India can work together in this field.
Dr Singh, who is on a three-day official visit, is likely to discuss with Putin the possibility of Russia delivering four additional nuclear reactors for Koodankulam project.
The prime minister also said space was an area where the two countries have complementary capabilities.
"While Russia is far ahead of us, we have new capabilities in satellite technology that can contribute to the commercial viability of your (Russia's) space programme. Working together in space is a win-win proposition."
Observing that open societies like India and Russia were facing the common threat of terrorism, he said the menace has to be fought in all its manifestations without loosing the values of democracy.
"The very openness of our societies makes us more vulnerable, and yet we must deal effectively with the threat without loosing the openness we so value and cherish."
Noting that India and Russia have both suffered grievously from terrorism and both have been working together to fight it, Singh said, "We know that those who resort to terror often float it in the garb of real or imaginary grievances. We categorically affirm that no cause justifies resort to terror."
He said Russia and India must work together in all possible fora to counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
"We cannot be selective. We must fight terrorism wherever it exists, because terrorism anywhere threatens democracy everywhere."
Maintaining that democracy provided legitimate means to express dissent and engage in political activities, Singh said, "Terrorism exploits the freedom our open societies provide to destroy our freedoms."
The prime minister was conferred honorary professorship of the Moscow State University, Russia's oldest, for his contributions to economics and strengthening friendship between the two countries.