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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 05:22 GMT
India, Russia to strengthen ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian PM Manmohan Singh
The two leaders pledged to boost military cooperation
India and Russia have agreed to boost economic and military ties at the end of Indian PM Manmohan Singh's two-day visit to Russia.

The two sides signed agreements to jointly develop a military transport aircraft and mount a joint mission to the moon, among other things.

Mr Singh met Russian President Vladimir Putin, the latest in a series of yearly meetings between the two allies.

The two countries have had close links since Soviet times.

Mr Singh said both sides were working on an agreement that would allow Russia to build four nuclear reactors in India, according to reports. Russia is already building a civilian nuclear power plant in India.

'Strategic partnership'

"We paid special attention to cooperation in the sphere of nuclear cooperation, to the sphere of military-technical cooperation," Mr Putin was quoted as telling reporters by Reuters news agency.

Mr Singh said military cooperation is one of the "pillars of strategic partnership" between the two countries.

India remains a leading buyer of Russian weaponry. Russia is currently bidding to supply more than 120 fighter planes to Delhi.

Russia and India are discussing collaborating on the next generation of fighter jets and medium-range transport aircraft.

The two countries are also rapidly deepening co-operation in the energy sector.

Although ties between the two countries are strong, the relationship faces new challenges, including competition from the West and the growing economic and military might of China.



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