Medvedev’s Charm Offensive

Dmitry Medvedev with Manmohan Singh

To say that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s two-day trip to India (21-22 December 2010) was highly successful would be an understatement. Although not as pompous as that of US President Barack Obama, whose visit was celebrated by the Indian mainstream media like a festival, Medvedev’s India sojourn culminated with an impressive bouquet of agreements – close to 30 — being signed. Among them were big ticket defence deals such as the $30-billion worth Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), which would see India induct 250-300 jointly-developed aircraft over a period of 10 years.

On the political front, too, the Russian Prez’s visit overshadowed that of the heavyweights who touched down India in the recent months. While Obama sprang a surprise in New Delhi by pledging support for India’s bid to be a permanent member in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – though the US’ change of mind was spotted a couple of days before Obama arrived in India (click here to read the only newspaper story that predicted the US’s paradigm shift) – the US President failed to put Pakistan to task the way India wanted. The rather demure visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao – though it clinched trade deals worth $16 billion – didn’t break any new ground politically. Wen – who was to go to Pak from India — didn’t even mention Pakistan when he spoke of terrorism. On other hand, Medvedev warmed the cockles of Indian hearts by not only announcing Russia’s staunch support for India’s “deserving, strong” case for permanent seat in the UNSC but also voiced India’s concerns against Pakistan, by asking it to all those responsible for 26/11 to book.

Major agreements signed during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit
  1. Memorandum on mutual understanding and cooperation in the field of elections:
    To exchange of information and expertise on best practices in the field of elections.
  2. Agreement on cooperation in the field of emergency management:
    To exchange information and expertise in the fields of disaster forecasting and disaster management.
  3. Agreement on simplification of travel documents:
    To simplify visa procedure. Will benefit citizens holding non-diplomatic passports such as businessmen, tourists, research scholars, etc.
  4. Agreement on enhancement of cooperation in oil and gas:
    To provide an administrative framework for joint undertaking of projects in the oil and gas sector in India, Russia and third countries.
  5. Integrated long-term programme of cooperation in science, technology and innovation:
    To guide innovation-led R&D collaboration in science & technology during the period 2011-2020.
  6. Joint work document to establish the Indo-Russian Scientific and Technological Centre:
    The document lays down the legal and administrative framework for the establishment of joint R&D centres in New Delhi and Moscow.
  7. Memorandum of Mutual Understanding on combating irregular migration between India and Russia:
    The MOU will provide a framework for checking irregular migration.
  8. Memorandum of Understanding between the State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom” and the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India Concerning Broader Scientific and Technical Cooperation:
    The MoU envisages joint research and development in reactor technology and related fields for peaceful uses of atomic energy by nuclear research institutes on both sides.
  9. MOU between Ministry of Communications & Information Technology  (Department of Information Technology) of India and the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of Russia on Cooperation in Information Technology:
    The MOU envisages enhanced cooperation in the area of IT and IT-enabled services.
  10. Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the Pharmaceutical Sector between the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers of India and the Ministry of Trade & Industry of Russia:
    The MOU envisages enhanced cooperation in the area of pharmaceuticals and bio-pharmaceuticals, inter alia through establishment of joint ventures, joint research and exchange of know-how.
  11. Framework Agreement on Cooperation in Hydrocarbon Sector between ONGC Videsh and JSFC Sistema:
    The agreement provides a framework for cooperation between the two companies for undertaking joint projects in the hydrocarbon sector
  12. Preliminary Design Contract (PDC) for Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA):
    The contract envisages joint design and development of Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft with the involvement of HAL on the Indian side and Sukhoi Design Bureau and   Rosoboronexport on the Russian side.
  13. MOU between Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and Federal Customs Service on Exchange of Information on Foreign Trade: The MOU will strengthen the regulatory framework for monitoring bilateral trade.
  14. MOU between State Bank of India (SBI) and Vnesheconombank on banking sector cooperation:
    The MOU will contribute to further strengthening of banking linkages between the two countries.
  15. MOU between EXIM Bank and Vnesheconombank to operationalise the $100 million LOC signed during December 2009 Summit:
    The MOU will facilitate the utilisation of the $100 million LOC extended by EXIM Bank through Vnesheconombank in December 2009. The LOC is to be utilised for enhancing exports from India to Russia, especially by SMEs.
  16. Opening of Official Representative Office of OJSC “Gazprombank” in India:
    This will contribute to the ongoing efforts to strengthen banking linkages between India and Russia
  17. MOU between NMDC and OJSC Severstal to set up a 50:50 joint venture for an integrated steel plant in Karnataka:
    The MOU, signed on 10 December 2010, envisages setting up of a joint venture to build an integrated steel plant in Karnataka with a captive coal mining concession in Russia and iron ore mining concession in India.
  18. Agreement between JSC “R-Pharm” and “Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd”: The MOU envisages cooperation between the two companies in the areas of licensing, technology transfer, manufacturing and marketing of pharma products.
  19. Memorandum of Understanding between JSC “Pharmasyntez” and “Naprod Life Science Private Ltd”:
    The MOU envisages joint production of modern oncological medicine in the Russian Federation and / or purchase of raw materials.
  20. Agreement on scientific and technical co-operation between JSC ‘Arkihin” and “Biopharm”:
    This Agreement will enable S&T cooperation between the two companies in the area of pharmaceuticals/biopharmaceuticals.
  21. Agreement on scientific co-operation between “Pereslavskij Technopark” and Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology:
    This Agreement envisages scientific cooperation between the two institutes in the area of IT.
  22. Memorandum of Understanding between JSC ‘Sitronics” and Shyam Telecom on joint promotion of telecom products in various markets:
    This MOU envisages joint promotion of telecom products by the two companies in India, Russia and third countries.
  23. Agreement between Federal network operator JSC “Navigation – Information Systems” and GLONIS SOLUTIONS:
    This Agreement envisages introduction of GLONASS related services in India.
  24. MoU between JSC Navigation-Information Systems and Kerla State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd:
    This MOU envisages collaboration between the two organizations for undertaking joint projects in India.
  25. Agreement on GLONASS High Precision signal access to India:
    This Agreement envisages Russia providing access to the GLONASS High Precision Navigation signals to India.
  26. MOU between TATA SONS and Skolkovo Foundation:
    The MOU envisages joint R&D in high-tech innovations.
  27. Joint venture agreement between Reliance and Sibur (a subsidiary of Gazprom) to set up a butyl rubber manufacturing facility in India:
    The agreement is for setting up a joint venture to manufacture butyl rubber in Jamnagar. The project envisages Russian technology capabilities for India in this important sector.
  28. Memorandum of Understanding between “Pereslavskij Technopark” and Swastik Polymers”:
    This MOU envisages joint production of Master Batches for polymers.
Source: Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India

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