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Jaishankar, Russian Dy PM hold talks over bilateral issues in Delhi

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday held talks with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov over a number of issues of bilateral interest including the upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Borisov, heading an 18-member strong Russian delegation, met Jaishankar and both co-chaired the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC).

During the talks, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister took the opportunity to congratulate Jaishankar on the successful launch of Chandrayaan-2.

"They held their first inter-sessional meeting since the External Affairs Minister assumed office. With a view to prepare for Prime Minister's forthcoming visit to Vladivostok, Russia, as the Chief Guest at the Eastern Economic Forum in early September and the next India-Russia Bilateral Summit, the co-chairs held focussed discussions on bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade and investment; transport; energy; agriculture; industry; and space," a statement from Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

Both sides noted that the bilateral trade target of USD 30 billion set between them to be achieved by 2025 and agreed to take a number of measures towards the 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," the statement said.

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 Nagpur-Secunderabad sector and the possibility of implementation of satellite-based tolling on highways.

Taking note of the longstanding cooperation in the field of oil and gas, both 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 program, the importance of close cooperation between the respective space agencies, ISRO and Roskosmos were reiterated," MEA statement said.

Both sides decided to hold the full meeting of the IRIGC-TEC in New Delhi later this year. The External Affairs Minister has invited the Russian Deputy Prime Minister for the meeting.

It may be recalled that the last IRIGC-TEC meeting had been held in Moscow on September 14, 2018.