Russia is working with India to jointly produce Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories for use in India, Russia and other countries, said Nikolay Kudashev, Russian Ambassador to India, on Monday.
Speaking at the press briefing, the Ambassador said, “We are working very hard to fight Covid-19 together with India, and now advancing to jointly produce Sputnik V vaccine at the capacities of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to be used in India, Russia and other countries.”
“A lot of efforts are aimed at coordination in the international arena, including World Health Organization and BRICS, where we have got an advanced healthcare mechanisms and initiatives, including Tuberculosis Network, Vaccine Research Center, Early Warning System to prevent the spread of infectious diseases,” he said.
Highlighting that Russia is the “only foreign country so deeply involved in the Indian nuclear power sector, contributing to the national energy security,” the Ambassador said, “Our successful flagship project is the Russian-designed Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu.”
On the defence cooperation, he said, “Our unparalleled defence cooperation based on real exchange of technologies and joint ventures helps India to advance local production and expand its military export potential. We are working on co-development and co-production of equipment, components and spare parts, improving after-sales service system and deepening localization programmes.”
Speaking on the next year’s Aero-India-2021, he said that Russia intends to be one of the biggest exhibitors wherein it will demonstrate Su-57, Su-35 and MiG-35 fighter jets, helicopters Ka-52, Ka-226, Mi-17B-5, Mi-26 as well S-400 and Buk systems and many other new items and equipment.
He said, “As far as current deals are concerned, we are advancing well, including with S-400 supplies. If relevant decisions to start works related to Ka-226 helicopters and AK-203 rifles production are expedited, soon we will see good progress, which is especially important due to a deep interests expressed by the Indian armed forces.”
On the interregional cooperation involving the vast potential of the Far East and the Arctic, he said that it is a “solid background to launch the bilateral forum of the regions of the two countries”. “Together we work to extend the use of national currencies in trade, to ensure an early conclusion of the India – Eurasian Economic Union FTA and reach USD 30 billion in mutual trade by 2025. Such areas as alternative payment systems and information security would certainly support expanding economic partnership. More opportunities will be open with the re-establishment of the direct Vladivostok-Chennai sea route and enhancing capacity of the North-South International Transport Corridor.”
“Next year we will also mark the 60th anniversary of the first human space expedition by Yuri Gagarin as well as the 50th anniversary of the USSR-India Peace, Friendship and Cooperation Treaty among other important dates,” he noted.
He further said that both countries have supported each other this year during the repatriation of thousands of Russian and Indian nationals to their respective home countries.
Recalling the meetings held between India and Russia at multiple levels amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Kudashev said, “The Covid-19 did not stop our bilateral engagements, although it eventually affected the schedule of our contacts, including annual bilateral summit, which we expect to be held in 2021 along with other important high-level events including civil and defence inter-governmental commissions.”
He said that the year 2020 is “remarkable” as the Russian-Indian strategic partnership crossed the 20th anniversary and “exactly 10 years ago – on December 21, 2010 – was elevated to the special and privileged status, which means a deep convergence of our bilateral and international interests as well as a great scope of a goodwill to combine efforts to deal with various challenges.”