India-Russia sign 16 MoU's
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, 24 December 2015.Reuters

India's flagship programme "Make in India" took centre stage at the India-Russia annual-summit-level talks in Moscow on Thursday. According to reports, Russia became the first country in the world to agree to take the initiative in two sectors — nuclear and defence.

The agreement between the countries identified the regions to begin construction of 12 atomic energy plants in India, with involvement of Indian firms, the Indian Express reported.

"The pace of our cooperation in nuclear energy is increasing; we are making progress on our plans for 12 Russian nuclear reactors on two sites. The agreement today will increase Indian manufacturing content in these reactors. It supports my mission of Make in India. I thank Putin for his support," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an official statement.

A joint statement by the two countries stressed on the need for peaceful use of nuclear energy as a cornerstone for their strategic partnership.

At the summit-level meeting, Russian President Putin said Unit-2 of the Kundankulam plant in Tamil Nadu, which is being built by Russia, will be commissioned in a few weeks. Talks on building units 3 and 4 are currently at an "advanced stage", reported The Indian Express.

"They (India and Russia) agreed to actively work towards localisation of manufacturing in India under the aegis of Make in India and in tandem with the serial construction of nuclear power plants," the official statement read.

Defence deals

Strengthening defence ties with Russia was also high on India's agenda. In order to reaffirm military ties with Russia, India signed numerous military deals on Thursday.

The two leaders jointly announced building of Russian helicopter Kamov in India. India also signed an MoU with Russia on cooperation in helicopter engineering, reported Financial Times.

According to an official statement, "The Inter-Governmental Agreement on manufacture of Kamov 226 helicopter in India is the first project for a major defence platform under the Make in India mission. It is rightly with our most important defence partner." 

"From a buyer-seller relationship to one involving joint research, development and production of advanced systems such as the Brahmos missiles, Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft and T-90 tanks, Russia has the potential to be the leading partner in India's make in Mission," the Economic Times report quoted Modi as saying.

India and Russia signed 16 MoUs. Russia also said it would support India's bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. The two countries also released a joint statement on being "united against terrorism", the Indian Express reported.

"As I look into the future, I see a Russia as a significant partner in India's economic transformation and in shaping a balanced, stable, inclusive polar world," said Modi in an official statement.